Kyle Kuzma praises Austin Reaves amid Team USA defeating No. 1 Spain in FIBA exhibition match

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma shared some major love to Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves, who is currently playing for Team USA as it prepares for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Team USA has been playing exhibition matches in preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup later this month, and Reaves has showcased his talent in mainly a bench role for the team.

Reaves had a terrific sequence in a recent game against Spain, getting a tough basket on one end and making a play on defense on the other.

Reaves, 25, took a major step for the Lakers in his second season in the NBA, and he’s been rewarded in several ways this offseason.

Not only did Reaves earn an invite to compete on Team USA, but he also cashed in on a new four-year contract with the Lakers in free agency.

During the 2022-23 season, Reaves averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from beyond the arc. He really improved across the board from his rookie season when he averaged 7.3 points per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from 3-point range.

Reaves’ breakout season helped the Lakers make the Western Conference Finals in the 2022-23 campaign. The team knocked off the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors to get there despite being just the No. 7 seed in the West.

Kuzma, a former Laker who won a title with the team in the 2019-20 season, clearly appreciates Reaves’ game.

It’s great to see Reaves thriving in a bench role for Team USA, as it shows how adaptable his game is. Down the stretch of the 2022-23 season, Reaves thrived in the starting lineup with the Lakers, but he’s also played off the bench for the team in his first two NBA seasons.

As Reaves continues to gain more support across the NBA, the Lakers are hoping his game will continue to develop as well.

If it does, Los Angeles should be one of the best teams in the Western Conference in the 2023-24 season with Reaves, Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell and LeBron James leading the way.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.