The Lakers likely wrapped up their fine work in free agency with the extension agreed upon with Jarred Vanderbilt. After serving as a catalyst for the Lakers postseason push, Vanderbilt was properly rewarded with his four-year extension.
His extension solidifies many things, most chief among them being the belief the front office has in this assembled core. Their long-term commitment to a number of players this summer, Vanderbilt now among them, has sealed them into a group of young players moving forward.
For Vanderbilt, his contract is a very straightforward one as reported by Keith Smith of Spotrac.
Jarred Vanderbilt's extension with the Los Angeles Lakers is for the standard 8% raises, a league source told @spotrac.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 19, 2023
Final season is a player option for Vanderbilt.
After years of playing on much, much smaller deals and non-guaranteed contracts, this is quite the big deal, literally and figuratively, for Vanderbilt. Now, his contract is fully guaranteed moving forward.
Like so many other contracts the Lakers signed this summer, this extends into the potential post-LeBron era of the Lakers. With Vannderbilt’s deal, the Lakers will have Anthony Davis, Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, Gabe Vincent and Vanderbilt under guaranteed deals for the 2025-26 season at roughly $110 million.
It’s quite the commitment from the front office, but it’s also a group that had a lot of success in a short time together this season. It’s also a lot of contracts that are fairly easy to trade, Vando’s among them.
And while it feels like a lot of money committed to the future, the impending new media deals are going to lead to the salary cap growing by quite some margin, which will make a lot of these future contracts look smaller in the future. That, perhaps, is another feather in the cap in the Lakers agreeing to all these deals now with the knowledge or belief that the cap will be increasing and, akin to 2016, salaries are about to balloon.
Regardless of the future implications, the present ones are that the Lakers have properly rewarded its team for a deep playoff run and committed to them for the future. It’s quite the statement from the front office and Vando’s extension is (presumably) punctuation on a fine offseason.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.