Heading into his third season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Austin Reaves has quickly caught the eyes of fans, showing truly how talented of a basketball player he is.
During his sophomore season, Reaves did not become a part of the starting lineup until late in the season. Making an appearance in 64 games, he only started 22, but the production from his first to second year was noticeable.
Reaves averaged 28.8 minutes a contest averaging 13.0 points, 3 rebounds and 3.4 assists on 52.9% from the field and 39.8% from 3. In his first postseason run, the guard showed no drop-off in his game and cashed in on a four-year, $54 million deal to stay in L.A.
Since the Arkansas native plays for the Lakers, the world got to see the kind of player Reaves truly is and will continue to do that for years to come. That attention has earned him the No. 66 spot in ESPN’s annual player rankings:
Why he could exceed his ranking in 2023-24: USA Basketball did not medal in the World Cup over the summer, but Reaves showed how he thrives in an iron-sharpens-iron environment. Reaves was Team USA’s second-leading scorer on 57/50/95 shooting splits while ranking third in assists and third in steals. We’ve seen plenty of players parlay stars-and-stripes service into a leap the following season — Reaves could be the next name on that list.
Now that the Lakers have Reaves around for the next four seasons, he is going to be a building block for when LeBron James makes his departure. It seemed that L.A. has little to no young talent and heading into the future, fans have a lot to be excited about.
The ceiling of Reaves is also an intriguing topic and if he’ll ever be an All-Star level talent in his career. But, it is an impressive accomplishment when he hasn’t even finished his third season yet.
Learning from LeBron James and Anthony Davis will only continue to benefit Reaves as progresses. But, with a new contract, signature shoes, playing for Team USA and now being ranked in the Top 70 as a player, Reaves seems primed for a breakout season.
Reaves feels he’s in great shape due to time with Team USA
Reaves was a surprising and polarizing addition to the USA roster for the FIBA World Cup, but he ultimately showed he was one of the best players on the team. With World Cup ending a little less than a month before training camp, Reaves feels that playing in the tournament kept in good shape leading up to his preseason debut, which is why he looked so great.
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