The Denver Nuggets officially returned to game action this week as they kicked off preseason with a win against the Portland Trail Blazers and another against the Los Angeles Clippers. Fans have been eagerly awaiting this moment since last season ended, and one of the reasons for this anticipation has been the young talent that the Nuggets have accumulated. While most of this anticipation has surrounded Michael Porter Jr., Jarred Vanderbilt has also garnered a lot of interest from fans as they wonder what kind of impact he can have on the team in his sophomore season.
If preseason is any indication, Vanderbilt has a lot to offer this team. He has showcased his frequently hyped-up rebounding abilities, but he’s also shown flashes of playmaking skills. During one play Thursday night against the Clippers, Vanderbilt grabbed the rebound after a missed shot from the opposing team, dribbled it past halfcourt and to the three point line, and then threw a backdoor pass to a cutting Porter Jr. that resulted in a slam dunk.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander saw the clip and offered praise to his former University of Kentucky teammate. See the clip of the play below, in addition to the tweet.
And Vanderbilt’s response below:
The Nuggets are pretty stacked at the power forward position, with the new addition of Jerami Grant to back up Paul Millsap; however, Vanderbilt has shown his potential each time he has made it onto the court. We’ll see whether this leads to minutes this season, but whatever happens, Vanderbilt has proven that he has a lot to offer in the NBA.