Austin Reaves is one of the best results for the Los Angeles Lakers that could come out from the last season. The 17-time champions did not win the title last year, but they found a player who they could bet on for a long time. Moreover, he is young and has plenty of time remaining in his career.
Reaves can be the central figure of the side in the future around whom the front office can build their roster. Currently, Austin Reaves is busy with Team USA duties for the FIBA World Cup. In the American team, Reaves has made friends with Mikal Bridges, a forward for the Brooklyn Nets. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, this budding friendship can pay dividends for Rob Pelinka’s side.
Can The Friendship Of Austin Reaves And Mikal Bridges Help The Lakers In Anyway?
Both Reaves and Bridges are the comedians of the side. The Oklahoma Sooners kid can grow better as a forward, as Bridges is a more skillful scorer as well as a defender. Moreover, Mikal Bridge can teach Reaves about the on-ball and isolation-focused moves. On the other hand, Austin Reaves is more about off-ball actions such as transition layups, backdoor cuts, and spot-up three-point shots. But the main interest for the Lakers is that in 2026 summer, they can be prime contenders to acquire Mikal Bridges, who’ll be a free agent.
Moreover, international games can help top players become close friends, which can help top teams in return. For instance, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh became close friends playing for Team USA. Later, they played for the Miami Heat and were a big success. The FIBA World Cup will commence on Friday. Hence, Reaves and Bridges have enough to grow closer as friends. Moreover, the Lakers will have a close eye on their chemistry on and off the court.
AR Wants To Play Even A Bigger Role For The Lakers Next Season
On the other hand, Jovan Buha mentioned Reaves wants to play a more essential role next season for the Lakers. He wants to play as point guard a little bit more, which would help the team’s rotation. Buha suggests Austin Reaves is training with the LA side’s conditioning and strengthening team in this offseason. He wants to handle the increasing workload better. Moreover, only in his second season, the Oklahoma Sooners kid proved to be a crucial member of the Laker’s roster. He became a fan favorite and an essential player right behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers made sure they did not lose Reaves like they did Alex Caruso. Hence, the front office signed the Hillbilly Kobe for a four-year contract worth $56 million. On the other hand, Austin Reaves is also glad to stay part of the Lakers. He has been a fan of that side and Kobe Bryant since he was a kid. Hence, it has been a kind of a dream to play for the Lakers. However, it is also true that after his second season in the league, his value went up. Moreover, teams like the San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, and Houston Rockets, with bigger cap space, could sign him easily. But the Lakers got him without much outside trouble.