The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly would only be willing to trade Austin Reaves if they can acquire a bona fide All-Star in return.
The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III and Jovan Buha recently discussed a potential Lakers trade with the Detroit Pistons. The hypothetical deal involves the Lakers sending Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Max Christie and a 2029 first-round pick to Detroit for Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks.
“The Lakers would quickly reject this deal,” Buha wrote. “They have no interest in trading Reaves. The exception would be in a deal for a clear-cut third All-Star, with a name like Lauri Markannen being the only player of that ilk potentially available on the trade market (and an unrealistic option for the Lakers, to be clear).”
Reaves has arguably been the Lakers’ third-best player so far during the 2023-24 regular season, his third season playing for the storied franchise. He has yet to miss a game for Los Angeles so far this season and is averaging 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from 3-point range.
The 25-year-old ranks in the top five on the team in points, assists and rebounds per game.
But Reaves didn’t have the best offensive performance in the Lakers’ most recent game against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 27. He scored 17 points but shot just 4-of-14 from the floor and 1-of-7 from deep in a game the Lakers won by one point to improve their record to 24-23 on the season.
The Lakers’ win over the Warriors marked the team’s second victory in a row. The team picked up a nine-point home win against the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 25. Los Angeles is now just a game and a half back of the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference standings for the No. 8 seed.
Reaves and the Lakers will try for their third straight win when they take on the Houston Rockets on Monday, who are led by former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. The Rockets are still in the Western Conference playoff picture but have been in a rut over the past few weeks, as the team owns a 3-7 record over its past 10 games and is fresh off a loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.
With any luck, Reaves will bounce back from his subpar scoring performance against the Warriors a few days ago when the Lakers take on the Rockets on the road.
Considering how productive Reaves has been with the Lakers this season and the fact that he is just 25 years old, it’s easy to understand why the team is allegedly unwilling to part with him in a trade unless it receives a clear-cut All-Star.