Even though the focus will be on the veteran players, the Los Angeles Lakers have some intriguing young talent on the roster.
Despite not having a draft pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Lakers were able to land Austin Reaves, who has quickly made a name for himself. Reaves originally signed a two-way contract with the team, but impressive showings in Summer League and in workouts earned him a standard NBA contract.
Reaves is officially the 14th man on the roster and although he will not see much floor time, he said it has been an amazing experience playing alongside players he grew up watching. “Like you said, with all the superstars that we got on this team, six Hall of Famers if not more, it’s crazy walking into the gym,” Reaves said.
“My whole life I grew up watching these kinds of guys play. So like you said, it is different, but at the same time, it’s just basketball and you got to come in and put in the work and just a way that I can help, really just come to work every single day and be prepared.”
Reaves joined the organization before free agency, so like the rest of the fan base, he saw the roster being put together and reacted the same way most did.
“Yeah, it was crazy. I think my reaction was the same as everybody else’s in the world. I mean, you see all these guys coming together and like [Trevor Ariza] touched on, the IQ that’s on this team is going to be crazy and there’s no ego in it as well. If anybody talks, people who are gonna listen, so putting all those IQs together is going to be special. But yeah, it was crazy seeing it all and knowing that I was going to be a part of it in some way was special.”
As a rookie, there might be a better place to learn and develop for Reaves than in Los Angeles given all the experience and basketball IQ on the team. He has already shown flashes of the type of player he can become, and this is a good opportunity for him to grow even more.
Austin Reaves explains ‘Hillbilly Kobe’ nickname
Reaves made the media and his teammates cackle when they learned of his nickname ‘Hillbilly Kobe.’ Reaves explained that he earned the nickname back in Oklahoma and it has since stuck.
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