The Los Angeles Lakers had an unbelievably unexpected season so far. They were down and out after the first half of the season. Apparently, the Lakers were 2-10 after the first twelve games. But they hold their nerves to pull things back on track. And the main credit goes to the Lakers’ front office for turning the season around for the squad and the fans. Around February, GM Rob Pelinka signed Rui Hachimura and later dealt with the Jazz and the Timberwolves for a three-team deal to bring in D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, and a few more talents.
These new entries on the roster restored balance, and the team looked ready to start climbing up on the table. They did as they rose from being the 13th seed to the seventh seed in the end. But what happened in the postseason was a bigger surprise for the Lakers faithful. The squad beat the second-seed Grizzlies and the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, to make the Western Conference Finals. However, the question is if Rob Pelinka is thinking about letting Austin Reaves, D’Lo, and Rui go away in the offseason.
Will The Lakers Be Able To Keep Austin Reaves And D’Angelo Russell On The Roster?
The shining stars of the team, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, along with the youngsters D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, and Austin Reaves, have played crucial roles in getting the Lakers to this stage. However, as it looks, their wonderful journey might come to an end in this conference final series against the top-seed Denver Nuggets. The force duo, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray is seemingly too much for the LA side at the moment. As a result, the front office has to start looking at the formalities they have to deal with in the offseason so that they don’t miss out there.
The Lakers faithful are also eager to keep Rui, AR, and Russell on the roster for the upcoming seasons. Hence, fans are hoping that the Lakers’ front office can give these players some offers they can’t refuse or not. Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura will be restricted free agents once the season is over. But D’Angelo Russell will be an unrestricted free agent. Undoubtedly, these three players have certainly raised their demands after their splendid performances this season. But the LA side will need this group to stay together for as long as possible to win the championship next season. Anyway, they can not let their star players go. But these role players are also very important for the team’s future success.
Austin Reaves Wants To Stay In Los Angeles
Out of those three role players, Austin Reaves will be the hardest to let go. Apparently, nobody picked Reaves in 2021 from the drafts. But later, he signed with the Lakers franchise in 2021. As a result, Reaves has several times mentioned that he has always been a LA fan, especially since the days of Kobe Bryant. He even cleared his intention, “I want to play my whole career for the Lakers.”
But after his thunderous evolution this season, AR might have become a bit too expensive for the LA franchise. Hence, they might not offer him more than $50 million. Perhaps the Indiana Pacers will offer him more in free agency. And that is why the LA fans are worried about, “What will he do then?” They are scared that Reaves’s predicament might be like Alex Caruso’s. A star born in the Lakers but got traded away soon enough.