Were the Nuggets the team that secretly promised Vanderbilt a pick? I’m sure Jarred will be asked soon enough (we’ll update this story), but Vanderbilt will be traded from Orlando to the Denver Nuggets and that’s where he’ll start his NBA career.
“Jarred Vanderbilt, gets injured and plays 14 games for us,” Caliapri said. “Unbelievably strong, active, a pro spirit, a pro motor. Everyone saw it, and then he got hurt again. Everyone saw the difference he makes in a basketball game you can’t count. The analytics people in the NBA went nuts. That’s why when he talked to us and we talked it through, go for it kid. He’s in a great situation, they’re gonna give him time. Couldn’t be more happy for him. I wished I could have coached him longer, but you know what, you gotta be about those kids. And you know what? He’s gonna do great.”
Due to injury, Vanderbilt played only 14 games last season, but in those 14 games, was impressive, averaging a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game. Per 36 minutes, a popular NBA analytic, he averaged 16.6 rebounds. He also proved to be one of the team’s best passers. As a senior at Victory Prep Academy, Vanderbilt averaged 28.5 points, 13.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists a game.
It’s really a shame we didn’t get a full season of Vanderbilt playing for Kentucky. We only had a taste of his energy on the floor but that’s the type of play UK fans love. Offensively he probably would have never been a star, but as a hustle, defensive and rebounding specialist he could have been a SEC First Team. Kenneth Faried is no spring chicken and I see no reason why Vanderbilt can’t be that type of player.
First priority for Vanderbilt will be for him to get healthy. The good news is he won’t be rushed to play by the Nuggests. I won’t pretend to know the extent of Vanderbilt’s injury (hopefully not serious) but he will surely wait until he’s 110 percent to play again. If that means sitting out a year then I look forward to the 2019-2020 Rookie of the Year campaign. Vanderbilt and Jamal Murray working together sounds good to me. They’re two unselfish players that specialize at one area.
Coach Cal thinks Jarred is going to have a great NBA career. pic.twitter.com/xapdrmfp1W
— CoachCal.com (@CoachCalDotCom) June 22, 2018
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 22, 2018
— D1 Circuit (@D1Circuit) June 22, 2018
— Nike Hoop Summit (@nikehoopsummit) June 22, 2018