Lakers’ Vanderbilt, Hachimura To Return On Saturday

Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt will make his 2023/24 season debut on Saturday against Houston, the team announced (Twitter link via Jovan Buha of The Athletic). Vanderbilt has missed the first 20 games of the season with left heel bursitis.

Vanderbilt, 24, was one of two players sent from Utah to Los Angeles at the 2023 trade deadline, along with Malik Beasley (D’Angelo Russell arrived from Minnesota in the same three-team deal). Vanderbilt started 24 of 26 regular season games for the Lakers down the stretch in ’22/23, averaging 7.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per night while shooting 52.9% from the field and 78.4% from the free throw line.

Although he was one of the few Lakers who wasn’t a free agent this past offseason, Vanderbilt still cashed in, agreeing to a four-year, $48MM veteran extension that will keep him under team control through at least the 2026/27 season. He’ll hold a player option for ’27/28.

Los Angeles will also have Rui Hachimura back in the lineup — he’s available after missing the past four games following surgery to repair a nasal fracture.

According to Khobi Price of The Southern California News Group (Twitter link), the Lakers could have a third wing back in action on Saturday, as Cam Reddish is listed as probable. The 24-year-old has missed four of the past five games with a groin strain.

The Lakers are currently 11-9, the No. 7 seed in the West.

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