Austin Reaves
Lakers guard Austin Reaves shoots from the corner as teammates watch intently from the bench during second half of Game 4.(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Austin Reaves has been the find of the season for the Los Angeles Lakers. At a time when the team’s backs were against the wall, the rookie stepped up on occasion and played like a true champion. He remained a crucial part of the new-look Lakers that led the team to playoffs this season. However, during the whole playoff series, the guard faced a form slump and was unable to score points on the board.

In Game 2 against the mighty Golden State Warriors, Austin Reaves could put up only 7 points in 25 minutes as the Warriors crushed the Lakers to level the series by 1-1. The loss apparently left a deep impact on the guard, who blamed himself for the loss. However, with the support of his teammates and enough self-belief, Reaves staged a perfect comeback and played a crucial role in the Lakers’ Game 4 win against the Warriors.


Austin Reaves Opens Up How His Teammates’ Support Helped Him Recover From Game 2 Loss

 Austin Reaves
Lakers guard Austin Reaves is fouled by the Golden State Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins as he shoots during the fourth quarter of Game 4 of their second-round series on Monday night at Arena. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Game 2 loss against the Warriors rattled the Lakers guard, Austin Reaves. He was absolutely livid with himself for not contributing to the team’s points tally. Suddenly, he remembered a moment that occurred during the game. Hall of Famer Gary Payton told Reaves that he likes him and he has got some “dawg” in him. That immediately filled Austin’s heart with confidence, and he vowed to make a stellar comeback. During Game 4 against the Warriors, Reaves ended up adding 21 points to the Lakers’ tally. Moreover, his three-pointer in the third quarter helped the team lower down the Warriors’ lead from 12 to 9 points.

Austin Reaves opened up on what led to the sudden change in form. He said after Game 2, he sat in the locker room in anguish. However, his teammates, including LeBron James, supported him and asked him to move on. Not only that, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham advised him to stay fearless and aggressive the next time he sets foot on the court. The guard had an instant realization that the team had instilled a lot of belief in him, and he was donning the purple and gold jersey for a reason. The validation from LeBron and Payton boosted Austin’s confidence massively which was reflected in the guard’s performance on Monday. Lastly, Reaves signed off by saying that the series isn’t over yet, and there is tons of work to do from here to win again.

NBA Scout Questions Reaves’ Future With The Lakers

Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves (Lakers) (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Austin Reaves has witnessed a dramatic turnaround in his career this season. From being an undrafted rookie to being a starter for the Lakers in playoffs, the guard has certainly come a long way. However, Reaves is all set to hit free agency next year. Moreover, teams are expected to line up with lucrative offers. The current asking price floating around the market is a four-year deal for $80 million. But the Lakers will most likely have to beat that, as Austin is unlikely to settle for less. After all, he has earned that leverage.

Meanwhile, NBA scout Kelly Iko spoke to The Athletic and broke down Austin Reaves’ situation. He said the guard had shown a lot of potentials and an all-round skillset. Moreover, his competitiveness and confidence make him stand apart from the crowd. But the bottom line is, does Austin has the guts to jump ship from the Lakers after all the glory he has achieved so far? Until now, Reaves has maintained that he wants to be a Laker for life. But what if the Lakers are unable to meet his monetary expectations? What then? All the answers lie at the upcoming free agency in Summer. But one thing is certain, the Lakers Guard will remain the hot pick and the talk of the town.