The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a massive blow in the team's biggest win of the season over the Boston Celtics. Forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who was playing out of this world in the first half against the Celtics, came up limping after an injury and was forced to leave the game early.
Vanderbilt and the Lakers avoided the worst-case scenario (torn Achilles) but the injury still will put him on the shelf for quite some time. Vanderbilt will miss "at least several weeks" with a foot injury. That is as vague as it gets and considering how other timelines have been delayed this season, Lakers fans should not expect to see Vando back any time soon.
With the trade deadline coming up this week, the Lakers may look to replace some of Vando's minutes with a forward on the trade market. The Lakers are not going to find someone who brings everything Vanderbilt does, but they could at least add depth at a cheap cost.
Forwards the Lakers could trade for to replace Jarred Vanderbilt:
1. Royce O'Neale
Royce O'Neale has been connected to the Lakers already on the trade market and he could even be part of a bigger package for the Lake Show. There is a world in which the Lakers flip D'Angelo Russell and some young assets to Brooklyn for a package of Spencer Dinwiddie and O'Neale.
That package seems even more likely with Vanderbilt out as O'Neale would help in replacing the forward's minutes. O'Neale does not have the defensive ceiling that Vanderbilt has but he is an above-average defensive wing who can hit three-point shots more consistently than Vanderbilt can.
O'Neale is on an expiring contract and is someone who would play 15-18 minutes on the Lakers, so the price would not be high at all. Los Angeles would just have to get the salaries aligned to make the deal possible along with a second-round pick or two.