NBA insider thinks Lakers fear Austin Reaves will get offer sheet over $50M, says Rockets and Spurs should target him

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read

The growth of Austin Reaves has been both a gift and curse for the Los Angeles Lakers this season.

While the 24-year-old has had a huge hand in L.A.’s success and playoff run this year, his leap may make it difficult for the team to keep him when he becomes a restricted free agent this offseason.

The most the Lakers can offer Reaves this offseason is a four-year deal worth $50.8 million. What complicates matters is the fact that other teams can offer him significantly more.

The Lakers will have a chance to match any offer sheet that Reaves signs elsewhere (regardless of the terms of the offer), but it’s unclear how far L.A. is willing to go to make that happen. NBA insider Shams Charania recently spoke about the matter and mentioned teams like the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs as potentially good landing spots for the rising star.

“If you’re Austin Reaves, what can you get out in the marketplace?” Charania asked. “I think more and more teams around the league, teams with cap space, teams like Houston, San Antonio, you have to look at a guy like that because he’s not old. He’s not super young either. He’s kind of that middle-of-the-pack age range guy that is still young enough career-wise that can come in, fit among your group, be a veteran leader to an extent, but still grow and develop with your group. And I think there is a concern for sure if you’re the Lakers that he’s gonna get potentially an offer sheet way, way, way higher than 50 (million).”

Charania’s message certainly isn’t what Lakers fans want to hear, but it’s not a shock considering how much Reaves has raised his stock this season.

In the regular season, the second-year guard averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in extremely efficient fashion, as he shot 52.9 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from deep.

In the playoffs, he hasn’t missed a beat. Reaves has averaged 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game across 12 appearances, shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Everything about Reaves’ game makes him seem like a veteran player in a 24-year-old’s body. He consistently makes smart decisions and has done an admirable job of filling the role that the Lakers have needed from him.

Moreover, he’s somehow gotten more efficient as L.A. has asked more of him. Many young players initially struggle from an efficiency standpoint upon consuming more usage, but that hasn’t been the case with Reaves.

As a rookie, he had a usage percentage of 12.4 and posted a true shooting percentage of 60.0. In his sophomore regular season, his usage percentage ballooned to 16.2, but that didn’t stop him from increasing his true shooting percentage to 68.7.

All of these factors are just a few of the reasons why there will likely be no shortage of interest in Reaves’ services this offseason. The Lakers can try their best to keep him around, but that might be tough if his market takes off.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.