Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers are preparing for life without Jarred Vanderbilt for the remainder of the season.
“He’s going through it with a specialist this weekend, but at the minimum, he’s gonna be out a bunch of weeks,” Wojnarowski said. “And they are bracing for him being out for the year. He had been playing his best basketball for the Lakers, Bobby [Marks], the last couple weeks both offensively, defensively on the ball. He’s their best — one of the best on-ball defenders in the league, and that’s a big hole for them.”
Vanderbilt played well on both ends of the floor in his most recent game against the Boston Celtics back on Feb. 1. In 16 minutes of playing time, he finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals on 3-of-7 shooting from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep.
The Lakers beat the Celtics by nine points without arguably their top two players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the lineup and handed Boston just its third home loss of the 2023-24 regular season. Boston still owns the top record in the NBA right now at 38-12 and holds a comfortable lead over the Milwaukee Bucks — the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference — for the conference’s top record.
A couple of days before beating the Celtics, Vanderbilt put together another solid performance in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 30. He totaled 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals while converting all six of his shots from the floor across 26 minutes of action.
In 29 games played with the Lakers so far this season, the 24-year-old is averaging 5.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from 3-point range.
Vanderbilt was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the No. 41 overall pick back in the 2018 NBA Draft and has played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets along with the Lakers during his time in the NBA.
The Lakers have a road matchup against a subpar opponent in the Charlotte Hornets on the horizon. Los Angeles will take on Charlotte — who has lost its last seven games — on Monday. The Hornets lost to the Indiana Pacers at home on Sunday thanks to a great showing from Pacers forward Pascal Siakam, who totaled 25 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in 35 minutes.