In a string of unfortunate events, Los Angeles Lakers power forward Jarred Vanderbilt will miss his third consecutive preseason game due to left heel soreness, according to a report by Dave McMenamin of ESPN. This setback has raised concerns among Lakers fans, but the team remains optimistic about his recovery in time for the season opener, which is a highly anticipated Western Conference Finals rematch against the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets, on October 24th.
- Jarred Vanderbilt, who recently signed a lucrative four-year, $48 million contract extension over the summer, will be sidelined for the Lakers’ preseason games due to left heel soreness.
- The Lakers acquired Vanderbilt from the Utah Jazz just before the February 9th, 2023 trade deadline, and he quickly became a valuable asset, particularly on the defensive end.
- However, Vanderbilt’s offensive struggles were exposed in the playoffs, where he saw a significant drop in his performance.
Vanderbilt’s journey with the Lakers began when he was traded from the Utah Jazz in February of this year. During his time with the Lakers, he made an impact, particularly on the defensive side of the court. In 24 of his 26 regular season appearances, the 6’9″ forward averaged 7.2 points on an impressive 52.9% shooting, along with 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
While Vanderbilt’s regular-season contributions were commendable, his playoff performance left much to be desired. Opposing teams exploited his offensive limitations, often daring him to take shots, which he was reluctant to do. During the playoffs, he averaged just 4.6 points per game, struggling with a dismal 40% field goal conversion rate, a concerning statistic for a player of his position. He also managed 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 blocks, and 0.7 steals in an average of 16.5 minutes per game across 15 playoff appearances.
As the Lakers prepare for their upcoming season, fans will be keeping a close eye on Vanderbilt’s recovery from his heel injury. His presence on the court, especially on the defensive end, will be crucial for the team’s success in the Western Conference. Lakers supporters hope that he can regain his regular-season form and help the team contend for another championship.