Austin Reaves, a two-way contracted point guard, remained a key part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ successful playoff campaign in the 2022-23 NBA season. He came out of nowhere mid-season and swept the entire league, let alone LA, off their feet. Moreover, the guard did not let the hype around him die down as he participated in the FIBA World Cup with Team USA.
Austin Reaves had a successful stint on the world stage. He averaged 13.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and shot 57 percent from the field. While Team USA failed to move past the semi-finals, Reaves emerged as the top performer. Interestingly, the guard was coached by current Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who had nothing but positive things to say about the emerging talent.
Warriors Coach Refers To Lakers Austin Reaves As “Better Young Guys In The League”
The preseason kicked off over the weekend as the Los Angeles Lakers locked horns with the Golden State Warriors. Ahead of the opener, Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed his thoughts on LA’s hyped point guard Austin Reaves, whom he coached during the FIBA World Cup. His response to the guard’s assessment was gold. “Way better to coach him than coach against him,” said Kerr. The coach added that he loved working with Reaves and believes he is emerging as the better one among the exclusive group of highly talented young guys in the league. Indeed, Austin left a profound impact on Kerr as he couldn’t help but praise the former in an open forum.
Having said that, Steve Kerr’s assessment should hype up the Lakers fans and their expectations. After a successful campaign last season, the point guard earned a handsome raise this off-season. LA locked him in a four-year $54 million extension contract while facing competition from many rivals. But the mutual interest from both sides ruled out the contenders completely. Regardless, Reaves will now have a big responsibility in anchoring the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis this year. He will most preferably start throughout the season and could also be asked to lead the charge during clutch moments. A lot of the team’s championship hopes will depend on Reaves’ performance. It would be interesting to see how the highly anticipated season unfolds for the young rookie.
Austin Reaves Grateful To Have Earned LeBron James’ Trust
During the breakout season last year, Lakers point guard Austin Reaves was able to gel with the roster really well, especially with LeBron James. James, on many occasions, stood up for Reaves and instilled his unwavering support, for which he later recently expressed gratitude. In a podcast, the guard shared how LeBron passed down the ball to him during clutch movements in playoffs.
That said a lot about the level of trust and faith the team, let alone LeBron James, had in him. He had to stand out, and he eventually did. LeBron, who was battling a tendon foot injury, turned to Austin Reaves during the playoffs to complete the setup play. The rookie, surprisingly, did not disappoint and emerged as the upcoming rising star of the Lakers as well as the NBA.