After the Los Angeles Lakers acquired former Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura, L.A’s front office is looking for moves to make the roster playoff ready with the limited assets that they possess.
Austin Reaves, who is expected to make his return from a hamstring injury this week, was desired by the Brooklyn Nets to complete a Kyrie Irving trade. However, the Lakers made it clear that they would not move away from Reaves and/or Max Christie in the Irving trade package.
With Irving traded to the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers kept their word by keeping Reaves. In a recent interview with Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Reaves discussed how much that meant to him and his desire to remain with L.A.:
“What I was told from basically Day 1 of coming into the league is that it’s a business and every [team] wants to work to get better. So you got to think about it that way when you see your name in something. It’s not real until it actually happens, so that was really my mindset. But seeing the stuff about the Lakers not wanting to add me and stuff, it means a lot. I want to be here, I want to be a part of what we got going on and like I said, I want to be here.”
It is no secret that the Lakers organization likes Reaves’ game, going from undrafted player to key contributor. Averaging nearly 11 points and shooting a near 90% from the free-throw line, Reaves has shown significant improvement in his second year in L.A., which should lead to a solid payday in free agency this summer.
Even though Reaves is not an All-Star, he has been an important part of the rotation with his perimeter shooting and hustle as a wing. The Lakers will have multiple offseason moves to make, but Reaves’ contract situation will be something to watch for moving forward as it looks like he won’t be going anywhere at the deadline.
Reaves Explains Why He Gets Compared To Caurso
The Lakers have recently done a great job at finding hidden gems in the offseason to build a rotation around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In the 2020 NBA Championship run, current Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso was one of the key role players down the stretch for L.A.
Though the Lakers have not even made the playoffs with Austin Reaves, the 24-year-old guard seems to fit the mold Caruso played with during his tenure in the purple and gold. Even the Lakers faithful compare the two athletic scoring guards to each other.
Reaves recently addressed why fans compare him and Caurso, believing it comes down to their skin color and lack of athleticism.
The one thing that will hopefully be different between the two though is that Reaves will remain a Laker. If the Lakers want to have a different outcome with the former Oklahoma guard, they should prioritize his contract in the summer.
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