Report: Only ongoing certainty in Lakers offseason is them matching offers for Austin Reaves

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly set to enter free agency with one certainty, which is retaining restricted free agent guard Austin Reaves.

Marc Stein looked at free agency across the NBA and pointed out that the Lakers’ efforts to improve the team’s roster will also include holding onto Reaves.

“The only ongoing certainty about the Lakers’ offseason, league sources say, can be found in their determination to match any offer sheet for restricted free agent-to-be Austin Reaves,” Stein wrote. “The richest offer Reaves can receive from an external suitor is a four-year deal valued at nearly $100 million. One source with knowledge of the situation labeled it an ‘automatic match.'”

Reaves’ meteoric rise from undrafted free agent to being on the verge of a near nine-figure contract has taken just two years to materialize.

Back in 2021, Reaves went undrafted by all 30 NBA teams before then signing a two-way deal with the Lakers in August of that year. Within two months, he had impressed the team enough that his contract was upgraded to a standard deal.

Reaves’ rookie year progressed more rapidly than expected due to team injuries and other problems with the Lakers backcourt. By the time that disappointing campaign had ended, he averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.

After starting in 19 contests as a rookie, Reaves then started 22 of 64 regular season contests during the 2022-23 campaign. His numbers in those games ended up with him averaging 13.0 points, 3.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds per contest.

Yet, those numbers were only a precursor to his breakout performance during the 2023 postseason. That run began with a stirring fourth-quarter effort in the opening playoff clash against the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the fourth quarter, Reaves poured in 14 of his 23 points, delivering momentum to help the Lakers collect a 128-112 victory. He also reached double digits in scoring in each of the remaining five games against the Grizzlies, helping the Lakers advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

In that series against the Golden State Warriors, Reaves poured in 21 points in Game 4 and 23 points in the series-clinching Game 6 victory.

Reaves and his Lakers teammates watched their season come to an end in the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets. Yet, Reaves made things interesting by averaging 21.3 points per contest over the four games of the series.

Other teams have been rumored to have interest in signing him, most notably the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs. Yet, even though it will put a dent in their cap space, the Lakers are clearly intent on keeping Reaves.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.