Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves Lakers Source: Basketball Network

Austin Reaves has been nothing short of a revelation for the Los Angeles Lakers this 2022-23 season. Clearly, the Oklahoma Sooners kid had an incredible journey so far in NBA. Nobody drafted him back in 2021. Later, he signed a contract with the Lakers, and his sophomore year with the team brought a real player out of him.

However, at present, many players on the Lakers’ roster are set to become free agents this offseason. Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura will become restricted free agents. On the other hand, D’Angelo Russell will become an unrestricted free agent. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have one more year in their contracts. Despite all these players’ futures being in a dilemma, the Los Angeles Lakers are sure to keep Austin Reaves on their roster. They are even ready to match whatever deal he might get from any other team. After his incredible show in the 2022-23 season, AR has raised his demand cum stock. And looks like one NBA franchise has already started raising talks with the Lakers’ young player to secure him for next season.


Houston Rockets Really Like Austin Reaves

Rui Hachimura Austin Reaves Lakers
Rui Hachimura Austin Reaves Lakers Source: Bleacher Report

Teams like Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic, and San Antonio Spurs are currently willing to pay way above $90 million for four years to have Austin Reaves on their roster. Los Angeles Lakers are also ready to put all the money needed to retain their star player. But the Lakers’ problem is their short cap space due to the presence of the two heavyweights – LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Amid all the interested teams, Houston Rockets are coming out as the most viable option for Reaves to join. Apparently, star player James Harden is also set to become a free agent this offseason. And Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto believes that “If James Harden does not return to the Rockets roster, they will sign Austin Reaves, the free agent of the Lakers.” Harden is currently in a dilemma between returning to the Rockets or staying with the Philadelphia 76ers. Moreover, Harden won the MVP award when he was part of the Rockets.

Not just Michael Scotto but also Kelly Iko of The Athletics suggested that Houston Rockets really like Austin Reaves. Iko is also a Rockets beat writer for The Athletic, and she knows that the team is pretty young. They have Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., and Jabari Smith Jr. But they can make the team more like a contender if they can get James Harden in the next season. However, if Austin Reaves joins the Rockets, they will get even better. The Lakers may also fight to keep AR if they offer him somewhere around $100 million. But will it be enough? Evidently, the Rockets, Spurs, and Magic have bigger cap space than the LA side.

AR Was Instrumental In Helping The Lakers Reach The WCF

LeBron James Austin Reaves Lakers
LeBron James Austin Reaves Lakers Source: Los Angeles Times

In his initial days, Austin Reaves used to come off the bench for the Lakers side. But gradually, he gained attention from the coach along with the star LeBron James. Eventually, he got his break in the starting lineup. However, it was in his 2nd NBA season that he gained a massive fan following. The reason simply being the incredible consistency that he displayed throughout the regular season. And he even got better in the playoffs.

When both the top two stars of the Los Angeles Lakers were struggling with injuries and consistency, Austin Reaves carried the team on his shoulders. Thus he was able to impress the NBA community coming to his sophomore season. The four horsemen of the Lakers – James, Davis, AR, and D’Lo helped the team reach the western conference finals. But the Lakers’ journey in the 2022-23 season ended after a humiliating loss to Denver Nuggets. Hence, the Lakers are busy planning the off-season trades at present.