Austin Reaves Says Lakers Feel Like ‘Home’ & Wants To Stay In Free Agency
Austin Reaves, Lakers
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest surprise of the Los Angeles Lakers season was undoubtedly the emergence of second-year guard Austin Reaves. After an impressive rookie year, most expected Reaves to be a solid part of the rotation, but no one could have predicted the leap he made after the trade deadline.

With opportunities opening up, Reaves would average 17.6 points and 5.5 assists after the All-Star break while shooting 57.8% from the field and 44.8% from 3-point range, ultimately moving into the starting lineup. Some wondered whether he could continue that production in the postseason, but Reaves would do just that averaging 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists and knocking down 44.3% from deep.

Now set to hit restricted free agency, Reaves will cash in with a well-deserved big money contract. Rob Pelinka has said that he plans on keeping this core group of young players around and Reaves made it clear he wants to stay.

“I wanna be here,” Reaves said in his exit interview. “This feels like home to me in a sense. Obviously this is a lot different than my actual home. It’s a little bigger, a lot more people, worse traffic. But I told somebody a couple months ago that it feels like a home for me basically.

“The way the fans support me, the players, coaching staff, front office. This is definitely somewhere I wanna be, but we’ll see what happens.”

As a restricted free agent, the Lakers are able to match any contract offer Reaves receives from another team. And by all accounts, they plan on doing just that so it looks as if the young guard won’t be going anywhere and for good reason.

Even beyond the impressive numbers he posted, Reaves is the ideal player to have on any roster, but in particular he just fits perfectly alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He is a high IQ player who knows how to play the game the right way, never lacks aggression, is fearless on the biggest stages and gives maximum effort on both ends of the floor.

Reaves is set for a huge raise this offseason, but he has earned every penny he is set to make and both he and the Lakers want him in purple and gold for the foreseeable future.

Austin Reaves hungry for more postseason success after Lakers’ playoff run

In just his second NBA season, Reaves found himself in the midst of a deep playoff run. Unfortunately, it ended in the Western Conference Finals, but now that he has had a taste, Reaves is hungry for more.

“I mean, I said it to Bron after, I think it was Game 3 or 4 of the Memphis series and was just like, this is the most fun playing basketball I’ve had,” Reaves said following the Lakers’ loss to the Nuggets. “Just the group of guys that we’ve had, the level that we’ve played at, and me being a competitor, obviously I want to get back to this stage and even further and win the Championship, because you know, I know — I don’t know, but I know that there’s no better feeling than that, just talking with Bron, AD, guys that’s won championships.

“There’s no better feeling than that, so hopefully one day I can feel that.”

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