After a poor first half of the 2022-23 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to shake things up after finally getting rid of superstar guard Russell Westbrook, who seemed to do more harm than good since the team acquired him from the Washington Wizards.
Ahead of the NBA trade deadline, the Lakers pulled off a couple of trades to bring in Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt.
The moves looked like steps in the right direction for Los Angeles, with general manager Rob Pelinka pulling off some magic to set this team up for a second-half run.
Ultimately, the Lakers got back on the right track and made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals with their new-look squad.
One player who benefited more than most from the team’s success was Vanderbilt, who became the team’s defensive stopper and recently signed a four-year contract extension.
Vanderbilt recently talked about what it’s like playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis on “Run Your Race” via Tidal League.
What’s it like playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis?
“They are just such high IQ high level players. It made our jobs easier…Its huge, especially coming in mid-season for the top players to accept you and teach you.”
– Jarred Vanderbilt
— Tidal League (@TidalLeague) September 19, 2023
Like most players that have come through the Lakers organization to play with James and Davis, Vanderbilt has been blown away by the IQ of the two superstars and how much easier it makes things for a role player like himself.
The real question moving forward is whether the Lakers can continue to play well with its new-look roster, as the pressure will be on to start the 2023-24 NBA season with the purple and gold no longer taking anyone by surprise.
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