Austin Reaves Lakers James Harden
Austin Reaves Lakers James Harden Source: Lake Show Life

Austin Reaves joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021, and it only took him his second NBA season to become a fan favorite. Moreover, the Oklahoma Sooners kid would love to stay with the Lakers as long as possible. He many times mentioned that he is a big Kobe Bryant fan and, as a result, a big Lakers fan. On top of that, Reaves had such a wonderful start to his NBA career with the Lakers. Hence, he would like it to continue. The Lakers faithful would also not want their team to make the same mistake as they did with Alex Caruso. The front office must be planning to keep Reaves for a long time.

Moreover, when LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ era ends, the Lakers would like to look up to Austin Reaves to lead the new generation. Currently, the team is on the verge of losing its next possible leader. However, the 17-time champions are trying to get the best possible team ready for the next season. Reaves is currently a restricted-free agent. But it is evident that the Oklahoma Sooners kid has raised his demand in the 2022-23 season. There are many teams like San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, and so on with bigger cap space than the Lakers, who can offer Reaves more than $90 million. Apparently, the Lakers will have an opportunity to match any deal some other team offers AR. Although there is a chance that Houston Rockets might give him the best offer.


Will Austin Reaves Sign With The Rockets If He Gets A Better Offer Sheet?

Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves Lakers Source: Lakers Nation

But there is one more team that can likely be the next destination for Austin Reaves, i.e., Houston Rockets. Although, it will depend on the James Harden trade. The Rockets can offer Reaves a big offer sheet. According to Los Angeles Times’ Dan Woike, after James Harden chose his player option to request a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers, the Rockets are eyeing Austin Reaves. Apparently, the best thing for AR to do is to sign the offer sheet from the Rockets to make the most money he can during his time in the Lakers cap restriction. On top of that, the Rockets are targeting to acquire Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Kuzma, and Brook Lopez. It is no wonder that the Rockets need to improve their roster. They had a terrible time in the 2022-23 season.

Apparently, the Rockets finished second-last in the Western Conference ahead of the San Antonio Spurs. However, in the case of the Los Angeles Lakers, it is highly unlikely that they would be willing to give up Austin Reaves. They discovered the young gun in 2021, and he blossomed into a wonderful player this year. Moreover, the Lakers have cut Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba to help them extend the contracts of Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell. On top of that, the Lakers won’t need to give up their whole midlevel exception. Hence, the Lakers can try to focus on signing Bruce Brown from Denver Nuggets, the current champions.

Rockets Have A Lot Of Competition In The Bid To Acquire James Harden

James Harden
James Harden Source: Sky Sports

However, if the Rockets feel they can lose James Harden, then they won’t make the Lakers signing Bruce Brown easy at all. More than the Houston Rockets, there are other teams who have a better chance of acquiring Harden. The city rivals of the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers, are the top contender to get Harden. Apparently, the Rockets are a bit confused about who to sign – James Harden or Fred VanVleet. Other teams who have a chance to sign James Harden are as follows – New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks. Only time will tell which will be the next destination of James Harden.