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Jarred Vanderbilt’s role with the Lakers is growing

Vanderbilt could be looking at more minutes with LeBron James sidelined as well.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers made moves at the trade deadline. They got rid of Patrick Beverley, traded for D’Angelo Russell, and also brought in Jarred Vanderbilt, a move that should be getting more publicity.

The former Kentucky Wildcats forward has been playing well with the Lakers. He put up 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists in just 17 minutes in his first game sporting the purple and gold.

However, it only has gotten better, especially in a game that resulted in a huge comeback win over Dallas, as Vanderbilt put up 15 points and secured 17 rebounds. He’s also shot 50% or better from the field in five of six games with the Lakers as well.

It’s not just what Vanderbilt can do on the glass. His defensive instincts coupled with his wingspan make him one of the most versatile players on both ends of the court for Los Angeles. Vanderbilt stands 6-foot-6, but he has a 7-foot-1 wingspan which is huge against a tandem of Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić, as he showed disrupting the final play of that game.

A second-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Vanderbilt will be an instrumental part of the Lakers' hopeful playoff run. They still have work to do though, sitting in 12th place.

However, Los Angeles is barely out of the 10th position which would at least get to the play-in game. Then with LeBron James, Russell, Anthony Davis, and a plethora of high-ceiling role players, the Lakers could make a run.