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

Los Angeles Lakers are very keen on keeping the core intact for the next season, the core which helped the team reach the Western Conference Finals in a situation when it was unthinkable. At the start of the 22-23 NBA season, the franchise was dealing with a lack of balance in the roster as well as a lot of injury concerns. The Lakers were not even among the top ten. But after the front office made some quality signing and trading before the deadline, the team looked balanced. Gradually they climbed up the table and finally finished as the 7th seed after the regular season.

Later, they went on a miraculous run in the postseason when they demolished every team that came their way until they reached the WCF. The second-seed Memphis Grizzlies and the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, had no clue how to stop the Lakers. The Purple and Gold Army won both rounds 1 & 2 in Game 6, 4-2. The Lakers may not be able to win the season, but they discovered some real talents who they can bet on for their future. For instance, Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves became fan favorites this season.


Lakers Made The First Move To Retain Rui & Austin

Lakers GM Coach And Rui Hachimura
Rui Hachimura Rob Pelinka Darvin Ham Lakers Source : Fadeaway World

Rui Hachimura joined the team in February as Rob Pelinka signed him from the Washington Wizards. He impressed everybody in the playoffs with his shooting three-pointers. The Japanese talent is a big man for whom the Lakers will have high hopes in the future. At least for the next season, Hachimura can play a good supporting role to Anthony Davis and LeBron James. On the other hand, Austin Reaves has been the most impressive discovery for the 17-time champions. Nobody drafted the Oklahoma Sooners kid in 2021. Later, the Lakers signed with him for a two-way contract.

Finally, in the 2022-23 season, Reaves won hearts with incredible basketball IQ and consistency. Hence, the Los Angeles Lakers would not want to let these two talents go away in the offseason. Both are heading towards restricted free agency. But recently, the Lakers’ front office made the first move as they extended the qualifying offers to both Hachimura and Reaves. According to Marc Stein, an NBA insider, the Lakers are set to match up any deal that any other teams are willing to offer AR. As restricted free agents, both Reaves and Hachimura are entitled to talk to other teams about the offers they are willing to pay. But then the Lakers have the right to match those offers to extend these two players’ services.

How Much Reaves And Hachimura Can Earn In The Offseason?

Austin Reaves Vs Rockets
Austin Reaves Lakers Source: Basketball Network

Lakers’ Austin Reaves clearly turned out to be the third-best player on the team behind Anthony Davis and LeBron James. He averaged 16.9 ppg, 4.6 apg, and 4.4 rpg in the playoffs. In his second season for the Lakers, AR earned a career-high $1.5 million. However, Reaves can earn up to $98.7 million in the offseason as a free agent.

On the other hand, Rui Hachimura, coming from the Wizards, earned a career-high $6.5 million in the 2022-23 season. Moreover, the Gonzaga man averaged 12.2 points and 3.6 boards in 16 playoff games this season. Hence, Hachimura is in the line of getting a deal of around $13-20 million per year.