Austin Reaves heads into his sophomore season where he’s expected to play a bigger role for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Reaves was one of the lone bright spots in such a rough 2021-22 season for the Lakers, and by all accounts, he’s been preparing to handle more minutes and responsibility on the court. The 2022-23 campaign represents another opportunity for Reaves to show Los Angeles he’s a piece worth keeping around long term
As an undrafted rookie, Reaves had a difficult path to make the NBA so he offered some advice to players like Scotty Pippen Jr. who find themselves in the same situation.
“First thing I would say is just stay true to yourself,” Reaves said at Lakers Media Day. “He’s in his situation for a reason, he’s talented and really good at basketball and not a lot of people have that opportunity.
“So it would really just be be yourself, learn as much as you can. You got all these guys in the gym that have played a long time. You got Bron, you got AD, Russ, all of them are very reachable and they’re willing to talk. I remember when I was on my two-way, I’d ask them questions and honestly not even thinking that I was gonna really get an in-depth conversation out of it. But luckily for us they’re willing to do that, so be a sponge, learn as much as you can learn and then his talent will speak for itself and he’ll find his way.”
Like Reaves, Pippen went undrafted this past year and ended up signing a two-way deal with the Lakers. He flashed the kind of scoring punch the team could use, and with Reaves leaving behind a template he could very well earn a spot on the team in the future.
Austin Reaves notes difference between this season and last season
It was a whirlwind rookie season for Reaves, who went from relative unknown to key contributor over the course of the year. Heading into Year 2, Reaves has a better idea of what’s to come which gives him a more positive mindset.
“It’s way different. I think a year ago I saw 366 days from today last year’s when I got my contract. It was right when we come back from minicamp in Vegas, trying to figure out a way to get on the team first and then with my mindset to play. But going through the whole year gives me a different perspective going into it, a better outlook on what’s to come.”
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