Austin Reaves’ semi-worrisome comments about his future with Lakers

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

Austin Reaves has been playing well all season for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he has taken things to a much higher level lately.

He will be a free agent this summer, and while he says he wants to remain with the Purple and Gold, he also wants to “make as much money” as he can.

Reaves is something of a Horatio Alger tale, as he grew up in a small town in Arkansas and wasn’t a big-time prospect in college, first at Wichita State University and then at the University of Oklahoma.

He went undrafted in 2021 and found his way to the Lakers, first on a two-way contract and then on a standard contract.

The 6-foot-5 guard almost instantly found a spot in the team’s rotation, and it wasn’t only because it had a profound lack of depth during the 2021-22 season. He quickly showed that he had the ability to be something of a Swiss army knife, and this season, he has greatly refined his skills.

Reaves is shooting 37.8 percent from 3-point range this year, which is a dramatic improvement from the 31.7 percent he shot from that distance last season. He has also proven himself to be an adept ball-handler and facilitator who is smart about drawing fouls and has the ability to absorb contact.

After multiple trades prior to the trade deadline, the Lakers suddenly have plenty of depth, but losing Reaves this summer would be a big blow to a team that could possibly contend for the NBA championship if it runs it back next season.

Los Angeles can offer him $50 million over four years, but since he will be a restricted free agent, it can match a bigger offer made by another team.

Of course, that could set up a difficult decision for the franchise should another team offer Reaves a significantly larger deal.

Key players D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura and Dennis Schroder will also be free agents this summer, so the Lakers may have to get creative in order to run it back, something which they reportedly do want to do.

Share This Article
Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.