The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a four-year, $46 million extension for Jarred Vanderbilt. Acquired from the Jazz near the trade deadline last season, Vanderbilt was a key defensive piece for the Lakers down the stretch. The 24-year-old averaged 7.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 26 games for the Lakers. He is the fifth Laker to receive a multi-season extension this offseason. Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, D'Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura have all been locked down for at least two more seasons in LA.
It's another move that sees the Lakers prioritize their youthful core. While Vanderbilt has definitely proven his worth as a defender, one has to wonder if this is a move to safeguard against a LeBron exit next summer. It's widely believed that if Bronny James leaves USC for the NBA, LeBron will leave the Lakers for whatever team drafts his son. ESPN's Brian Windhorst has gone as far as to say he believes LeBron is more interested in playing with Bronny than winning rings at this point in his career.
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Former Laker Dwight Howard Speaking With Warriors
While the Lakers are locking down their starters, the Warriors are looking to add depth.
The Golden State Warriors will meet with Dwight Howard next week, according to Shams Charania. The Warriors have spent the latter half of the offseason searching for a depth big man. Howard is 37 and has spent the last two years in Taiwan. He last played in the NBA in 2022 following his third stint on the Lakers.
Howard is an eight-time All-Star, last earning the honor in 2014. Furthermore, he has also been named to five All-NBA First Teams, the last coming in 2012. Other players the Warriors have considered adding include Blake Griffin. However, as noted by The Athletic, "Would Howard enter the situation with the correct mindset? If he doesn't play for two straight weeks, would he be fine with that? If they tell him to rebound, remain physical but never expect a play run in his direction, would he remain content? Is there any concern he'd become a distraction on the sideline or in the locker room for a franchise that is already attempting quite the chemistry experiment bringing Chris Paul into the mix?"
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