The Los Angeles Lakers will have a tough time matching a contract that is north of $60 million for guard Austin Reaves in restricted free agency this coming offseason, according to NBA insider Shams Charania.
Charania explained that the Lakers can offer Reaves a contract that is in the range of four years, $51 million this coming offseason. That could make it tough on the team if another team is willing to go well above that number to secure Reaves’ services.
“If it gets to that $60M-$70M range for Austin Reaves, that’s a tough contract for the Lakers to match… he wants to give the Lakers every opportunity to try to get a deal done”@ShamsCharania with his biggest takeaway from convo with Austin Reaves #RunItBack #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/x47DboyKGG
— FanDuel TV (@FanDuelTV) April 11, 2023
“I want to be a Laker,” Reaves told Charania. “Obviously, they gave me the first opportunity. I was a huge Laker fan growing up – big Kobe [Bryant] fan. So, honestly just to be able to play for the Lakers organization is special, and I want to be a Laker. So, hopefully we can get this done and I can stay there for hopefully my whole career.”
Reaves was great as a rookie, appearing in 61 games for the Lakers and making 19 starts.
He’s improved his game drastically this season, shooting much better from the field at 52.9 percent (45.9 percent last season) and from 3 at 39.8 percent (31.7 percent last season) than he did in his rookie campaign.
All in all, the Lakers guard is averaging 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game this season.
The Lakers will have several players that they need to bring back this coming offseason to keep their current roster intact, including Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura.
Reaves has become an integral piece at the guard position for Los Angeles, and he stepped up in a big way for the Lakers with LeBron James missing time due to a foot injury late in the regular season.
Since Reaves has been adamant that he wants to remain with the team, the Lakers may be able to work out a deal with him before he hits restricted free agency in the offseason.
Lakers fans have seen the team lose a key guard piece before, as guard Alex Caruso signed with the Chicago Bulls a few offseasons ago on a four-year, $36 million deal.
It looks like the market for Reaves will be even higher, so Los Angeles is going to need to pay up to keep him with the team beyond the 2022-23 season.