Trade Package I (continued):
PF Jarred Vanderbilt is one of the many Minnesota Timberwolves players who eventually found himself during the 2022-23 NBA season competing for the LA Lakers. He is under contract for one more season with the Lakers, and will likely need to produce more consistently if he is to have a chance to be extended. Like many Lakers young players who originated from the Minnesota Timberwolves, he wilted in the NBA Playoffs.
That is not something an NBA player wants to do on LeBron James’ roster.
So what is next? Well, the Lakers will want to reassemble a roster that can win now, and Vanderbilt is a young player who could be viewed as an asset to help the Lakers do that. And he has shown some progress in his play, but he too wilted in postseason competition.
A future center for the Utah Jazz
C Walker Kessler is the one player who was traded to the Utah Jazz which the Jazz deemed worthy of keeping. Of course, it was logical, in that the Utah Jazz had to fill the void created by the exodus of Rudy Gobert. It was a natural process to give the rookie a shot at competing for the team, and absorbing more minutes as he grew more comfortable.
He competed in 74 regular season games and started 40 contests. While he has the potential to be a solid contributor for the Jazz in the future, there were far too many occasions where fans cherry-picked Kessler’s best performances to compare to Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert’s worst performances to prove a bad take that he is better than Gobert on his own. Yes, he shows promise. But his play was inconsistent, and he averaged just 23.0 minutes per game. Let’s hold off until he starts 70 or more games.