The Los Angeles Lakers made a number of moves this offseason both bringing in new players as well as retaining their own free agents. But among all of those moves, the biggest was retaining third-year guard Austin Reaves on a new four-year, $56 million deal.
Down the stretch of last season, as well as the playoffs, Reaves exploded, becoming the Lakers’ third best player in the run to the Western Conference Finals. He was not only beloved by fans and teammates, but even by Lakers owner Jeanie Buss as well.
Buss recently spoke with Mirin Fader of The Ringer, saying that Reaves is one of her favorite people, adding that the Lakers’ franchise valued him extremely highly this summer:
This past summer, he was considered one of the most desired players on the market. With only so many years of James left, the Lakers knew they couldn’t lose their best young player. And during an offseason in which the Lakers had a long checklist, including retaining key rotation players and adding reinforcements, there was no bigger move than re-signing Reaves. “He’s one of my favorite people,” Buss says. “We valued him very highly. We didn’t want to see him go somewhere else.”
“It just felt right,” she says. “Everything came together the way it was supposed to.”
Buss and the entire Lakers organization understands how important Reaves was to their success last season and for many years going forward. He represents everything that it means to be a member of the franchise and that is something the Lakers knew they couldn’t afford to lose.
It has been a summer to remember for Reaves, who would go on to play for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup. Some questioned his inclusion, but he had an excellent showing and was one of the most trusted players on the roster for coach Steve Kerr. He has since hit the ground running for the Lakers in training camp even as the coaching staff eased him in.
Now, Reaves will look to continue proving any doubters wrong with another big season and show exactly why Buss and the Lakers did everything possible to ensure he stayed in purple and gold.
Lakers’ Austin Reaves wants to tell future children he won a championship with LeBron James
Another big believer in Reaves from the beginning has been LeBron James. It was James and Anthony Davis who first vouched for Reaves to receive a standard contract before his rookie season and LeBron has shown nothing but trust and faith in the young guard ever since.
And now Reaves’ goals are focused on bringing a championship to the Lakers and he wants to do it next to LeBron. The guard recently revealed that he hopes to tell his future children that he won a championship next to LeBron James and that is all he’s focused on.
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