Young guard Austin Reaves put himself on the map with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021-22 season.
Although the Lakers had one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, the 24-year-old gave fans something to smile about with his encouraging rookie campaign.
As a result of his strong debut season, it sounds like he’s starting to gain some respect around the NBA. It also sounds like he’s interested in staying with the Lakers beyond the 2022-23 season, which is a notable development since he’s set to become a restricted free agent in 2023.
That’s all according to NBA insider Michael Scotto, who relayed some positive information about the youngster.
“I asked one NBA coach about Austin, and he told me, ‘Austin Reaves is really good and better than I thought. He’s versatile. He’s a good on-ball defender. He makes the right play offensively. He finds ways to impact the game and do the little things to help,'” Scotto said.
Scotto added some intel about what Reaves’ future may hold.
“From everything I’ve gathered, he’d like to stay in LA and get a pay raise, and the Lakers would like to keep him,” Scotto said.
In the 2021-22 season, Reaves, averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest. He knocked down 45.9 percent of his shots from the field and 31.7 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
He finished the season strong, as he averaged 18.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest over his final four games. He dropped a 31-point triple-double in L.A.’s season finale.
Reaves played hard throughout the season and often gave the Lakers a spark, which was something they lacked throughout the campaign.
It seems like there’s a pretty good chance the guard will see an increased role in the upcoming season, which would give him a chance to take a big step forward and show the team what he’s truly capable of.
A solid season from a production standpoint would certainly help his case to get a raise. He’s set to make about $1.6 million in the upcoming season.
Only time will tell what Reaves’ future holds, but it certainly seems like he’s on an exciting trajectory.