Report: Lakers expected to move Austin Reaves into starting lineup

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of question marks heading into the 2022-23 NBA campaign, but one thing that there is apparently quite a lot of confidence around is the role that young shooting guard Austin Reaves will play.

According to a recent report, Reaves, who is entering just his second NBA season, is already penciled in as a starter for the Lakers.

“[Russell] Westbrook is obviously an option, though his poor shooting and defensive effort are concerns during important possessions in close games,” Jovan Buha of The Athletic wrote while discussing one potential closing lineup for the Lakers. “Kendrick Nunn, Lonnie Walker IV, Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson also are candidates to close games in place of [Troy] Brown or [Juan] Toscano-Anderson. (Reaves is penciled in as a starter and closer based on the chatter out of the organization.)”

It is interesting to hear that Reaves seemingly has the inside track to the starting shooting guard spot right now, but it perhaps should not be all that surprising.

Last season, Reaves had an impressive campaign for an undrafted rookie, averaging 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 23.2 minutes per game. He suited up for 61 games and started 19 of those contests.

Though Reaves went undrafted in 2021, it’s not like he came out of nowhere to burst onto the NBA scene. In the 2020-21 NCAA basketball season, Reaves was a star for the University of Oklahoma. He averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game that season.

If he can get anywhere near that production for the Lakers, he’d likely secure and hold onto a starting spot for the entire upcoming campaign.

He certainly seems to have the work ethic to accomplish such a feat. Reaves already has the reputation of an extremely hard worker. Earlier this summer, Reaves rocketed off a fiery NSFW response when the Lakers organization itself told him to lighten his offseason training load.

“He (Reaves) understands the opportunity that’s in front of him,” his agent Aaron Reilly said. “Not just next year, but in general. He’s carved out a nice little niche for himself. … As a matter of fact, (the Lakers) told him to take a week off, but he’s like, ‘F— that. I’m gonna work.’ So just looking forward to seeing the results.”

Moreover, it appears that the Lakers are far from the only team that has recognized Reaves’ potential. Several teams have reportedly expressed trade interest in him this summer.

However, given the fact that the Lakers seemingly have big plans for Reaves, fans should not expect him to be on the move anytime soon.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.