Back in February of 2020, the Timberwolves traded a package of Robert Covington, Jordan Bell, Ketia Bates-Diop, Shabazz Napier and Noah Vonleh in a 4 team trade. The Wolves got back multiple players and assets, including Jarred Vanderbilt. Jarred, now known as “Vando” or “Modern day Dennis Rodman” to wolves fans didn’t play much in 19-20 with the wolves after the trade. He actually only played in 2 games with the wolves, and scored 2 points in those games. Then in 20-21, we saw his role increase tremendously. In 20-21 he played in 64 games, and was a top rebounder for the team grabbing 5.8 RPG. And now in 21-22 he’s gotten even better. Vanderbilt is getting 8.5 RPG now, on improved overall offense.
A lot of Vanderbilt’s impact does go beyond the numbers. His overall hustle on both sides of the basketball is something you will rarely see from any player. He puts his body on the line every single night.
Vando is grabbing 3.2 offensive rebounds a game for the wolves. He ranks 8th in the NBA in that stat, and is first in the nba among forwards in offensive rebounding. He has a special talent of getting around bodies to get to the ball. He simply doesn’t let anyone box him out, ever. And during games, players on the opposing team with foul him when he’s trying to get around them. He just creates complete chaos.
His defensive impact has also been pretty big for the wolves. He often matches up with the opposing teams best player, more than anyone else at least. And he wins a lot of those matchups. Last night Vando held LeBron James to 5/13 shooting.
Vando obviously isn’t a player that will blow you away with his scoring, it’s rare to see him hurt another team with his pure scoring ability. But he does all the little things and the difficult things.
This past summer the wolves locked him up for the foreseeable future signing Vando to a 3 year 13.8 million dollar deal. That’s a very team friendly contract. Vando has really proved he’s worth a lot more than that, and the wolves got an absolute steal with that signing.
There’s definitely things that Vanderbilt needs to work on still, like shooting, playmaking and handling the ball better. But he’s rarely asked to do those things so that hasn’t been a big problem for us. And he has shown improvement in some of those categories. Vando was a 55% free-throw shooter in 20-21. This year he’s making 77% of his free-throws. And he’s been attempting more threes, and he’s actually making a few. It’s all a work in progress, but in 2 years from now we could definitely see his game expand a lot more. He’s very young still too, only 22 years old.
Vando has been a big part to the wolves this year, and he looks to be a part of the future. He deserves to make an All-NBA defensive team too. No doubt the future is bright for Vando.