SEPTEMBER 18: The Lakers have put out a press release officially announcing Vanderbilt’s extension.
SEPTEMBER 15: The Lakers and forward Jarred Vanderbilt are in agreement on a four-year contract extension that will be worth $48MM, agents Rich Paul and Erika Ruiz tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to Charania, the deal will be fully guaranteed, with a fourth-year player option.
Vanderbilt, who became extension-eligible last week, was entering the final year of his current contract, a team-friendly deal that will pay him just shy of $4.7MM in 2023/24. The extension will keep him under club control through at least the 2026/27 season, with the player option applying to ’27/28.
The NBA’s veteran extension rules typically allow players to receive up to 140% of their previous salary in the first year of an extension. However, players like Vanderbilt who are earning less than the league’s estimated average salary are eligible to receive up to 140% of the average salary. That rule will allow him to receive an eight-digit starting salary in his extension, more than doubling his previous cap hit.
Vanderbilt, 24, has played for the Nuggets, Timberwolves, Jazz, and Lakers since being drafted 41st overall in 2018. He’s a relatively limited offensive player – his 7.9 points per game in 2022/23 represented a career high – but is a talented, versatile defender who rebounds well (7.5 RPG in 24.1 MPG last season).
Vanderbilt is expected to play a major rotation role for the Lakers again this season after being acquired along with D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley in the trade-deadline deal that sent Russell Westbrook to Utah. He started 24 of 26 regular season games for Los Angeles following that trade, averaging 24.0 minutes per night.
Having entered the offseason with only LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Vanderbilt, and Max Christie under contract for 2023/24, the Lakers have locked in several key players to multiyear deals this summer. Like Vanderbilt, Davis signed an extension that will be guaranteed through at least 2027, while Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, and Gabe Vincent all signed free agent contracts that include three guaranteed seasons.
Including James and Russell, who both have players option decisions to make next summer, the Lakers now project to have seven players earning eight-figure salaries in 2024/25, notes Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link).
Since Vanderbilt’s new deal will exceed the extend-and-trade limits, he’ll be ineligible to be traded for six months, meaning the Lakers won’t be able to move him during the 2023/24 season.