Jarred Vanderbilt, Lakers

Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt expected to ‘miss several weeks’

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off an impressive road win over the Boston Celtics despite LeBron James and Anthony Davis both missing the game.

However, the Lakers suffered a tough blow, with forward Jarred Vanderbilt expected to miss at least several weeks due to a right foot injury.

The injury occurred late in the first half after he retrieved a loose ball that saw him take an awkward step on his right foot. Vanderbilt has struggled to stay on the court this season as he missed the first 20 games due to bursitis in his left heel.

It has only been as of late that he has been able to return to form as a high-impact defensive presence due to his versatility to defend multiple positions.

Over the last eight games, he was averaging 10.5 points on 66 percent shooting from the floor along with 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 steals. In fact, his 11.3 points average over the previous six games is the highest production over that span in his six-year career.

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Vanderbilt has been a key part of the Lakers’ defensive identity, especially during their run to the Western Conference Finals last season. It helped earn him a four-year, $48 million contract extension with Los Angeles before training camp last offseason.

His absence will put the team in a tough spot to find stability on that end of the floor. This may push the Lakers into the trade market to find additional help defensively to fill his massive void.

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