Lakers

Akshita Patel

NBA

Austin Reaves FINALLY Breaks Silence After Signing Mega Extension Contract With Lakers

Shooting guard Austin Reaves had a breakout season with the Los Angeles Lakers last year. The undrafted rookie came out of nowhere to rescue the team from a deep slump. He was an important part of the new-look Lakers. There came days when Reaves took over scoring responsibilities from the LeBron James-Anthony Davis duo.

In his very first career postseason, Austin Reaves became a regular starter. Over the last stretch of the season, the guard transformed into a complete player and took turns on both ends of the court. Hence, as the off-season kicked off, Reaves was rewarded with a mega extension contract. Meanwhile, the rookie spoke about his extension for the first time since the official announcement.

   

Austin Reaves Was “Relieved” After Securing Extension Contract With Lakers

Alex Caruso Austin Reaves
Alex Caruso Austin Reaves Source: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Young guard Austin Reaves had an incredible journey last season. In his very first full-fledged NBA season, Reaves entered the Lakers’ core unit. During the regular season, he averaged 13 points, 3.4 assists, and three rebounds per game. He took over the lead during LeBron James and Anthony Davis’s absence due to injuries. That changed the fans and analysts’ perspectives toward Reaves. He was no longer being viewed as a rookie. The guard’s performance even got better in the postseason, where he averaged 16.9 points and 4.6 assists per game. LA seemingly knew that they had found a gem and left no stone unturned in securing him in free agency. Lakers were apparently willing to match any offer as competition from Spurs and Raptors piled up.

Eventually, the rivals had to back off as Austin Reaves chose loyalty over money and signed a four-year $56 million mega extension contract with the Lakers. He spoke about the contract for the first time during an interview with HoopsHype. Reaves said that he always bets upon himself as he is self-aware about the talent he inherits. The guard just needed an opportunity which he got in LA. The rookie knew once he set his foot down, the rest will take care of itself. Hence, the extension contract came as a big relief to him. Further, the guard delivered his verdict on LA’s off-season moves. He is highly impressed with the fact that Rob Pelinka chose to keep the core together that made it to the Western Conference finals last year. Everybody is competitive and will surely try to win the championship next season.

Team USA Coach Heaps Praise On Austin Reaves

Austin Reaves
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In a bid to enhance his skills, Lakers guard Austin Reaves is currently representing Team USA at the FIBA world cup. He has been the team’s top performer so far, which has left the coach Steve Kerr highly impressed. He called Reaves a “connector” because of his ability to fit in every position. Kerr believes that with the talent the guard possesses, he can enhance any lineup.

Steve Kerr further praised Austin Reaves’s game awareness and elite basketball IQ. All things combined make the Lakers guard a complete player. Having said that, the next season will be crucial for Reaves. He has set high standards for himself, and the expectations will be sky-high. He has to prove that he is the next big thing in NBA and not just a one-season wonder.