Los Angeles Lakers newbie Austin Reaves has really blossomed into an emerging star this season. Albeit, it is not easy to believe that the 2022-23 season was just his second NBA season. He joined the Lakers squad in 2021 after he was undrafted. But the Lakers are receiving good dividends for giving this Oklahoma Sooners’ kid a chance in the franchise. He really became an integral part of the team by helping the Lakers turn around the season on his head.
The LA side did not have a great start, as they were 2-10. But Anthony Davis and the young guns like Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura helped the Lakers reach to the almost end, the Western Conference Finals. When the Lakers made the postseason, the NBA community was highly impressed with Reaves. And AR only kept up with the expectations, as he performed exceedingly well in the playoffs. That is also the reason why the Lakers’ shining star is the hot potato in the basketball community. And almost all the teams are looking out to sign this young talent in the upcoming offseason.
Houston Rockets May Offer Austin Reaves A Better Deal Than Lakers
Austin Reaves tried his best to save his Lakers squad from the unstoppable Denver Nuggets. However, the Nikola Jokic-Jamal Murray duo ended the season for their rival in just four games. Although AR had an impressive average with 21.3 points, 3.5 rpg, and 5.3 apg. Clearly, he has proved his worth in the Lakers team. However, in the offseason, Austin Reaves will be a restricted free agent. But AR has said several times that the Lakers team, it feels like home for him. Moreover, he has always been a big Kobe Bryant fan. Adding to that, Reaves has made it clear that he wants to stay forever with Los Angeles Lakers. But the question is if the Lakers’ front office can offer him a good deal or not.
Apparently, the Los Angeles Lakers can offer him not more than a $50 million contract. But if a team like Houston Rockets with a bigger cap space offers him around $90 million, then AR would think about saying goodbye to the Lakers. Evidently, the problem for Rob Pelinka is the short cap space due to the top two stars. According to the sources of the Athletic’s Kelly Iko, “Houston Rockets may look for James Harden in free agency along with restricted free agents like Austin Reaves and Cam Johnson.” How funnily do things change in a year or two? In 2021 Austin Reaves hoped that he would get drafted. But he was not. In the current season, AR is making $1.6 million as per the two-year deal with Los Angeles Lakers. And now, after a star-studded season, AR would get an offer that will be multiple folds of his current one.
Reaves Was Brilliant In The Playoffs
Austin Reaves played a crucial role in the games against Memphis Grizzlies as well as in the Western Conference Finals. In Game 1 against the Grizzlies, he scored 23 points, out of which 14 were in the fourth quarter, to lead the team to a victory and get a 1-0 lead in that series. Moreover, in Rounds 1 and 2, AR was just brilliant. The Golden State Warriors will never forget his buzzer-beater three-pointer from a 54m distance. It brought the crowd into the Crypto.com arena alive. In the end, Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Grizzlies and the Warriors 4-2 in the respective rounds, and Reaves was a crucial part of the Los Angeles squad.