Jarred Vanderbilt to miss 3rd straight Lakers game with new injury

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Jarred Vanderbilt reportedly is dealing with soreness in his heel, and the Los Angeles Lakers forward will miss his third straight preseason game on Friday against the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers seemingly believe that the 24-year-old will be ready for the regular season opener on Oct. 24 at the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets.

Vanderbilt received a contract extension this offseason after playing 26 games for the Lakers following his arrival in a trade with the Utah Jazz. He averaged 7.2 points and 6.7 rebounds for Los Angeles during the 2022-23 regular season and 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15 playoff games as it reached the 2023 Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers are the fourth NBA team for the University of Kentucky product, in addition to the Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and Nuggets. His new four-year, $48 million extension was one of several offseason transactions made by the Lakers. That included re-signing Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura and adding Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes and Christian Wood.

The deep and talented roster led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis has the Lakers among the contenders for the NBA championship again this season. The 38-year-old superstar reportedly is “extra engaged” so far, especially as a leader, and the 30-year-old supporting standout is looking to add to his own offensive contributions.

With Reaves thought to be on the verge of a breakout season, and Russell vowing to pick up his play on the defensive end, the Lakers are heading into this season with a great deal of focus and optimism.

After the game against the Warriors, they will have two preseason games remaining, at home against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday and the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

That will lead them into the much anticipated season opener against the Nuggets, who swept them to win the conference finals on their way to capturing their first NBA championship. Not only will the Lakers be looking for a small piece of revenge, but they will get their first chance to respond to the Nuggets’ chirping after winning that title.

Vanderbilt will no doubt want to be able to participate on what is sure to be an exciting night.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.