Lakers, Vanderbilt agree to 4-year, $48M extension

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HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 15: Jarred Vanderbilt #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action against the Houston Rockets during the second half at Toyota Center on March 15, 2023 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Jarred Vanderbilt is set stay with the Los Angeles.(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Forward Jarred Vanderbilt and the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed on a four-year, $48-million contract extension Friday, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The 24-year-old’s deal is fully guaranteed and contains a player option in the final year, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul and agent Erika Ruiz told Charania.

He joined the Lakers from the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal. The moves came right before the trade deadline in February, sending Russell Westbrook to Utah as Los Angeles acquired D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley.

Playing for four teams over his five NBA seasons, Vanderbilt was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the No. 41 pick in the 2018 draft. The 6-foot-9 Kentucky product played for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2020.

This season, Vanderbilt averaged 7.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals in 26 regular-season games during the Lakers’ push to the play-in tournament. He was also a presence in the postseason, starting in 13 contests en route to the Western Conference finals.

Superstar LeBron James alluded to retiring after the Lakers’ season-ending loss to the now-champion Denver Nuggets. When faced with questions about the future in Los Angeles, general manager Rob Pelinka was clear about his intention to invest in the team’s young core.

Pelinka led the Lakers through a busy offseason from that point, notching long-term contracts with Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura while retaining D’Angelo Russell. The team also signed Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes, and Taurean Prince.

Now that James has ended the speculation he created about his retirement, he and Davis appear to have a solid roster around them.

The team will be put to the test as soon as the season tips off on Oct. 24, as the Lakers will travel back to Ball Arena’s altitude to take on the Nuggets.

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