4 Lakers who are underperforming, 3 exceeding expectations at the All-Star break

These Lakers have differed from expectations in the first half of the season.
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Anthony Davis / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Underperforming: Jarred Vanderbilt

The Lakers traded for Vanderbilt at the 2023 deadline and signed him to a four-year $48 million extension that begins next season. He started 13 of their 16 playoff games last season. The 6’8 forward tumbled out of the rotation in the final contest against the Nuggets, but his defense can be impactful.

Injuries have limited him this season. He missed the first 20 games with a heel issue. Vanderbilt returned for 29 games before suffering a mid-foot sprain that will keep him sidelined until March at the earliest. Adrian Wojnarowski noted when the injury happened that Vanderbilt could miss the remainder of the season.

When he was on the floor, Vanderbilt struggled. He averaged just 5.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 20.0 minutes per game mostly coming off the bench. The 6’8 forward shot 51.8 percent from the field but produced a 0.0 VORP.

The Los Angeles Lakers certainly need more if Jarred Vanderbilt is going to live up to his new contract. It starts with him being healthy and on the floor. Foot injuries are always scary. Hopefully, Vando can get back before the playoffs and make an impact. If not, it will certainly go down as a lost season for the 24-year-old forward.