Lakers News: Austin Reaves, Joel Ayayi Open Up About Signing With L.A.
Austin Reaves, Lakers
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have made headlines for all of their free-agent agreements in recent days. However, the only players they’ve officially inked to a contract are their two-way players, Joel Ayayi and Austin Reaves. The Lakers agreed to two-way contracts with both players within minutes of the 2021 NBA Draft ending, receiving praise for the great value they got.

Ayayi and Reaves were both projected to be drafted at some point in the early-to-mid second round. The Lakers did not waste any time scooping them both up when they shockingly went undrafted. Now, they get to represent L.A. in Summer League and at the G League level for most of this upcoming season.

Reaves was starstruck at the idea of joining the Lakers, in large part due to his fondness of Kobe Bryant and the whole organization growing up:

Ayayi, on the other hand, just expressed his gratitude for the Lakers making such a swift effort to sign him following the draft.

The Lakers are hopeful that at least one of these two players can make a similar leap to Alex Caruso, who went from starring on his two-way contract to eventually becoming a full-time member of the team’s rotation. However, given the veteran nature of the roster this season, it’s unlikely that this is the year that happens for them.

However, if one or both of them can show their value in the Lakers’ first G League season since 2019, they may supplant one of the veterans who will undoubtedly be out of the consistent rotation, regardless of who that may be. For both Ayayi and Reaves, it appears that they’re both just excited for the opportunity.

Lakers waive Alfonzo McKinnie

The Lakers are armed with three open roster spots after waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie, heading towards the tail end of the free-agent negotiation window. This was a somewhat expected move, given the limited playing time, he would likely receive anyway.

L.A. has not made any moves since he was waived, but there should be clarity soon about their plans with their final three spots.

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