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Jarred Vanderbilt to Magic in 2018 NBA Draft, then traded to Nuggets

Vanderbilt has a world of potential if he can just stay healthy.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Jarred Vanderbilt has been selected by the Orlando Magic in Round 2 of the 2018 NBA Draft, going 41st overall. He was quickly traded to the Denver Nuggets. Details of the deal have not been announced yet.

Vanderbilt had a shortened freshman year for the Kentucky Wildcats last year, but he was effective in the 14 games he played, scoring six points per game while leading the team in rebounds with nearly eight boards per game, despite only averaging 17 minutes per game.

Per 40 minutes, that comes out to 18.5 rebounds per game, making him arguably the best rebounder in college basketball.

Vanderbilt will have to spend the summer rehabbing an ankle/foot injury that kept him out of the last few regular season games, as well as tournament games last season. He reportedly had surgery at some point after the season, which led to him skipping the NBA Draft Combine. He’s also been unable to work out for teams while recovering.

Vanderbilt was a borderline second-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft, but the general idea among league personnel and draft analysts is that with a healthy, productive sophomore season, Vanderbilt could easily play himself securely into the first round.

Even so, Vanderbilt and his family felt it was best he begin his pro career now, and now he’s been drafted into the NBA. He’ll also join former UK stars Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles in Denver.

Best of luck to Vanderbilt in his NBA career!

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