The NBA is a harsh business. Beneath the talented basketball players and genius coaches is a cold, calculated business. Players get traded at a drop of a hat, loyalty is just a word, you get it. Los Angeles Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt learnt that when he became part of multiple trades that sent him from the Nuggets to the Timberwolves to the Jazz, until eventually ending up on the Lakers.
The common factor in two of these three trades? Weirdly enough, it's Tim Connelly, who was the GM for two of the teams that ended up trading Jarred Vanderbilt away. In a podcast appearance on Run Your Race, the Lakers forward commented on this bizarre coincidence.
“[Timberwolves] got a new President/GM. Same one that came from [the Nuggets]… He traded me to Minnesota, then he got to Minnesota, traded me again to [the Jazz]. I’m like ‘damn.’”
Jarred Vanderbilt started his career in Denver, where he was drafted by the Nuggets in the second round of the 2018 draft. After two years, Vanderbilt was traded to the Timberwolves in a rather unassuming move. The forward built a strong career in Minnesota. After two years, he was packaged as part of Tim Connelly's blockbuster deal that sent Rudy Gobert to Minnesota. He was then dealt by the Jazz at the trade deadline to the Lakers.
Vanderbilt was part of the Lakers' sudden resurgence after the trade deadline. Vando's strong defense and rebounding became a key part of LA's resurgence in the second half of the season. It's no surprise that LA ended up extending Vanderbilt. LA fans are now hoping that the forward takes care of his offensive weaknesses to be a true game-changer on both sides of the ball.