A new report suggests that during last year’s pre-draft workouts, the Los Angeles Lakers were very impressed by the potential of point guard Jose Alvarado.
The Lakers got it right with Austin Reaves – but another player their scouting department really liked, I’m told, was Jose Alverado. Participated in a pre-draft workout with the Lakers – obviously, in a great situation in NOLA
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) April 16, 2022
Alvarado, who played collegiately at Georgia Tech, ended up going undrafted before signing to play for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Despite not signing Alvarado, the Lakers were still able to find an undrafted gem of their own in Austin Reaves. Reaves closed out his college career at the University of Oklahoma.
Both players put up modest numbers during the 2021-22 regular season. Reaves averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while Alvarado averaged 6.1 points, 2.8 assists and 1.9 rebounds per contest.
Given the Lakers’ veteran-heavy roster this season, neither Reaves nor Alvarado would have been expected to have a huge impact on the team’s fortunes.
As it turned out, key injuries to both Anthony Davis and LeBron James were the major reasons why the Lakers missed out on the postseason. Those injuries, coupled with chemistry issues connected to Russell Westbrook, helped eliminate the championship dreams that were envisioned at the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
In contrast, the Pelicans have now officially made it to the playoffs. After defeating the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night in the play-in tournament, they’ve now advanced to face the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs.
Despite the disappointment of L.A.’s season, Reaves’ contributions are a positive sign for his future with the Lakers. One unknown quantity that remains is whether he or Alvarado will end up having the better NBA career.