Report: Significant market in range of $50 million contract is brewing for Lakers guard Austin Reaves

Jason Simpson
4 Min Read

The stock of second-year guard Austin Reaves is rising, and that could prove to be both a blessing and a curse for the Los Angeles Lakers.

On one hand, Reaves’ development is one of the biggest reasons why the Lakers are still in the playoff conversation in the Western Conference this season. On the other hand, the 24-year-old is a restricted free agent this offseason, and it’s looking like Los Angeles may need to pay a pretty penny to keep him around.

“When you look into free agency this summer, the maximum that the Lakers can offer him is four years and 50 million due to his restricted free agency status,” NBA insider Shams Charania said. “That’s increasingly looking like his marketplace, at least. And so when you think about other teams, they can go higher than that. They can give him a poison pill offer sheet…but the Lakers can match that because he is a restricted free agent.”

It’s no secret that the Lakers have let a lot of talent slip through their fingers over the years. In some cases, they’ve seemingly given up on young talent too soon only to watch those players flourish elsewhere.

The last thing Lakers fans want is for Reaves to become a similar case. The guard has taken a huge leap this season and suddenly projects as a future star.

Luckily, it looks like the Lakers and Reaves have mutual interest. Jovan Buha of The Athletic indicated as much in a recent report.

“Both the Lakers and Reaves’ camp have interest in Reaves re-signing in Los Angeles, according to multiple league sources who were granted anonymity so that they could speak freely,” he wrote. “The max the Lakers can offer Reaves is a four-year, $50.8 million contract if they chose to use his Early Bird Rights, but they also have the power to match any contract he signs with another team.”

Reaves is averaging 12.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game this season while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from deep. Lately, he’s been even better, averaging 19.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per contest over his last eight games on impressive efficiency.

In a game the Lakers had to have on Sunday, Reaves went for 35 points, six rebounds and six assists against the Orlando Magic. Even if it was just one night, he looked like the best player on the floor in a game that featured lots of talent.

The Arkansas native clearly has a bright future ahead of him in the NBA, and Lakers fans are hoping that it comes with their team. He has what it takes to be an important piece for the organization for years to come, and if he were to stick around beyond the LeBron James era, he could maybe even evolve into one of the faces of the franchise.

In the meantime, Reaves is looking to help the Lakers grab a playoff spot this season. Los Angeles currently holds a play-in spot by the slimmest of margins, and the team is going to need to buckle down over the remainder of the regular season in order to extend its campaign.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.