Lakers exercising Jarred Vanderbilt’s team option

The Lakers are exercising Jarred Vanderbilt’s $4.7 million team option. Vanderbilt is one of the young players LA acquired at the trade deadline this past season.

The 24-year-old forward had a good season for the Lakers, providing elite defense. Vanderbilt’s defensive versatility allowed him to defend guards and forwards in the postseason. This included matchups against Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, and more.

In 26 regular season games with LA, Vanderbilt averaged 7/7/2 with 1.2 steals. He shot 52.9% from the field and 30.3% from three.

Vanderbilt is a young forward that’s defense fits well with the Lakers' roster. The weakness of Vanderbilt’s game is his three-point shot. However, Vanderbilt is still young and has this whole offseason to improve his jump shot.

LA has the luxury of having Phil Handy, the best skills coach in the NBA, to work with Vanderbilt and others. Handy worked closely with Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura this season, who both took a leap in the playoffs.

If Handy can help Vanderbilt become a better three-point shooter, he will become an even more pivotal core player for the Lakers.

Keeping Vanderbilt was a no-brainer, as his defense, rebounding, and energy make him a valuable player.

If Vanderbilt can improve his three-point shooting, he will take his game to the next level.

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