Nuggets 2018-19 Player Previews: Jarred Vanderbilt
Last Season: Jarred Vanderbilt battled foot and ankle injuries all season long as a freshman at Kentucky, playing in just 14 games, though showing some eye-opening potential when he was on the court. Vanderbilt averaged 5.9 points and a staggering 7.9 rebounds in just 17 minutes per game.
In other words, Vanderbilt averaged 18.5 boards per 40 minutes and grabbed 25 percent of all available rebounds while he was on the floor. That production and potential production earned him a chance to be drafted, and he was.
“All those teams are really looking at the analytics stuff, and his in those (14) games were off the charts,” UK coach John Calipari told reporters after the draft. “NBA motor, goes after balls, feel for the game, quick twitch, can pass it and bounce it.”
2018-19 Outlook: Once Vanderbilt gets completely healthy, he’ll likely spend the bulk of the season getting reps in the G League, and perhaps logging some minutes with the big club. He’ll work on his jump shooting, while continuing to put up big rebounding numbers and solid defense. The Nuggets are very high on his upside.
Bold Prediction: Vanderbilt will lead the G League in rebounding, while averaging over 10 points per game.
Christopher Dempsey: email@example.com and @chrisadempsey on Twitter.