Austin Reaves had been the main man of the Los Angeles Lakers behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis last season. But Rui Hachimura became the understudy of King James in the offseason. However, Hachimura might not get a chance to be in the starting lineup that often. But the Japanese did really well last season coming off the bench. Perhaps that’s what Darvin Ham expects Rui to do this season as well. Anyway, Austin Reaves has a far bigger responsibility than Hachimura. He’s the third most valuable player in the LA side.
Moreover, the front office expects Reaves to give his best in every game for the team. However, both Reaves and Hachimura disappointed the Lakers Faithful after the first four games in this new regular season. On the other hand, D’Angelo Russell, who was an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, has been performing exceedingly well. However, it seems the Laker’s Head Coach is really calm about the whole Reaves-Hachimura situation.
Poor Start Of Austin Reaves And Rui Hachimura Doesn’t Concern Darvin Ham
As per Darvin Ham, it is essential to give both these talented youngsters the confidence that the team knows they’ve done it before and they can do it again. But the Lakers coach added that he would wish they hurry up because only 78 games are remaining. However, the question can come up that if Ham trusts Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, then why would he bench them so soon? Against the Orlando Magic, Darvin Ham benched Reaves midway through the fourth and never brought him back. Prior to that, against the Sacramento Kings, while the game headed to overtime, Ham benched AR and never brought him back.
You know Austin Reaves is struggling when he can’t covert his herky, jerky reverse layups.— Lakers Legacy (@LakersLegacyPod) October 31, 2023
Yeah, Wendell Carter had a hand on his back & this probably could have been called for a foul, but AR never lets contact bother him and is the king of and1s – so you know he’s off his game pic.twitter.com/nYjH9iBQJ6
Apparently, Austin Reaves is struggling in both offense and defense. Moreover, AR’s offense has been absent. But his defense has let opposing teams target him. On the other hand, Rui Hachimura suffered a left eye contusion against the Sacramento Kings. In the first four games this season, Rui played in only two against the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings. He had a mediocre night against the Kings. Later, Hachimura missed the game against the Magic owing to a left eye injury.
Lakers Nation Has Faith In AR And Rui
Austin Reaves has been the new sensation of the LA side. That’s why the front office extended his contract for another four years. The new contract of the Arkansas native is worth $56 million. However, experts believed he deserved a deal of around $90-95 million. But the Lakers got him easy in that respect. Moreover, the LA side had high hopes for another player who joined them last mid-season. He is Rui Hachimura, a former player of the Washington Wizards.
Both Reaves and Hachimura made a lot of noise in the last playoffs. They really helped the Los Angeles Lakers to reach the Western Conference Finals. Both these players were very instrumental in turning things around for the Lakers last season. That’s the reason why the Lakers Nation did not want to part ways with Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves so soon. Both of them were restricted free agents. But the Lakers front office resigned Hachimura for a three-year extension worth $51 million.