JJ Redick comments establish likelihood of Jarred Vanderbilt being traded

Jarred Vanderbilt has been at the heart of trade rumors throughout the 2024 offseason. JJ Redick made it clear if and how he's valued by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers made an unexpected impact acquisition at the 2023 NBA trade deadline. In a deal that was centered around the acquisition of All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell, Los Angeles found a Swiss army knife of a defender in Jarred Vanderbilt.

17 months later, however, Vanderbilt has been at the heart of incessant trade speculation after an injury-plagued 2023-24 campaign turned his contract into an movable asset.

It's the unfortunate reality of the NBA that role players who miss significant time with an injury tend to be written off by their respective organizations. Vanderbilt has found himself at the proverbial crossroads in that regard, with the hiring of head coach JJ Redick casting even more doubt over whether he has a place in Los Angeles' future plans.

In an interview with Mike Trudell of NBA.com, Redick spoke about Vanderbilt and how he plans to utilize him during the 2024-25 season.

"I think the unique thing about Jarred, and a number of really good teams that made deep playoff runs have guys like him, that are energy, defense, ball hawks. He can sort of … I call them energy shifters. He can change the energy of an entire game, and he doesn’t have to do it with scoring, which makes him really unique. I can’t wait to coach him. Obviously he has some rehab to do for the rest of the summer, but when he’s healthy, he’s going to be a big part of what we do."

Vanderbilt has a contract that can be traded with relative ease, but Redick believes that his true value is on the court.

JJ Redick views Jarred Vanderbilt as an essential piece to the puzzle

Vanderbilt is one of the most intriguing players on the Lakers' roster. He's still just 25 years of age, and while his offensive value is admittedly questionable, his defensive qualities enable him to make a unique impact on the floor.

Standing at 6'8" and 214 pounds with a massive 7'1" wingspan, Vanderbilt has the length to disrupt the pick and roll, passing lanes, drives to the lane, and jump shots alike.

In 2022-23, he showed flashes of promise, averaging 7.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 offensive boards, and 1.2 steals in just 24.0 minutes per game across 26 appearances with the Lakers. His quality of play on defense and the offensive glass resulted in Los Angeles inking him to a four-year, $48 million deal.

Unfortunately, Vanderbilt appeared in just 29 games for the Lakers in 2023-24 due to a foot injury that persistently bothered him throughout the season.

In 2024-25, it appears as though Vanderbilt will have an opportunity to achieve redemption. He continues to be one of the best defensive players on the roster, which certainly yields itself to consistent playing time.

In terms of how his value might present itself offensively, it likely begins with the production that Vanderbilt provides on the glass.

This past season, the Lakers ranked dead last in second-chance points—a startling statistic considering Anthony Davis was No. 1 in the NBA in that same statistic. Vanderbilt would certainly help provide balance with his career average of 3.6 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes.

A trade could still occur, but based on Redick's comments, it seems as though Vanderbilt still has a place in the rotation in Los Angeles.