Report: Spurs could be dark-horse team that will try to poach Austin Reaves from Lakers

Ryan Aston
4 Min Read

In an offseason that has already seen LeBron James retirement rumors swirl, the Los Angeles Lakers have the cap space — for the first time in years — to significantly improve the roster around him and star big man Anthony Davis.

Before the team looks outward for roster upgrades, however, the top line item on its agenda appears to be keeping breakout wing and soon-to-be restricted free agent Austin Reaves in the mix.

On the latest episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto reported that Reaves, 25, will likely garner at least four years and $54 million from the Lakers.

However, the league insider further noted that Reaves, who averaged 13.0 points, 3.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds across 64 regular-season appearances for Darvin Ham’s club, could have a team come in with an over-the-top offer of four years and $100 million in an effort to keep Los Angeles from matching an offer sheet.

Whether that amount will actually be enough to scare the Lakers off is in doubt. In any case, Scotto namechecked the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets as clubs that could vie for his services.

“To me, a guy like Reaves would theoretically fit [the Magic’s] timeline more, given the age of their roster and his ability to shoot,” Scotto opined. “I have heard Orlando will look to upgrade their shooting this offseason.

“Everybody thinks James Harden to the Rockets has a real shot. But if that doesn’t happen, where do you go from there? Do you make a big offer sheet for Reaves? These are scenarios I think that are plausible, but only time will tell whether they come to fruition.”

Both the Magic and Rockets figure to have the cap space necessary to make strong offers to Reaves; the latter club is on target to have more room than any other team in the Association.

Meanwhile, Scotto’s guest on the podcast — The Athletic’s Jovan Buha — added a third team to the Reaves mix in the San Antonio Spurs.

“I’ve heard that there are going to be multiple suitors out there in talking with people around the league,” Buha said. “You mentioned Orlando and Houston. I’ve heard San Antonio could be a dark horse team that will try to poach Austin from the Lakers.”

This much is certain: Reaves is a lock for a significant pay raise after bringing in just over $1.5 million during the 2022-23 campaign. He did well to maximize his earning potential with an incredible postseason.

During the Lakers’ playoff run to the Western Conference Finals, the University of Oklahoma product put up 16.9 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds nightly while connecting on 46.4 percent of his shot attempts overall, 44.3 percent of his tries from deep and 89.5 percent of his free-throw attempts.

Meanwhile, his playoff net rating of 5.8 was the top mark teamwide among players logging more than 33 minutes of action (only D’Angelo Russell outpaced his regular-season mark).

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Ryan hails from Salt Lake City and has covered the Association for longer than he cares to admit, in addition to his work in the entertainment space. Past bylines include Heavy Sports, FanSided, Bleacher Report and Screen Rant.