Lakers News: Austin Reaves & Rui Hachimura Extended Qualifying Offers, Making Them Restricted Free Agents
Austin Reaves Rui Hachimura Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The start of free agency is right around the corner and the Los Angeles Lakers have some work to do in order to build the roster up to a championship contender.

Los Angeles got close this past season thanks to some trade deadline reinforcements, but the team is still lacking in a couple of areas that could take them to the next level. The Lakers will of course be propped up by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but nailing the right complementary pieces will be crucial during the summer.

Two players of high priority are Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, who showed off what they could do in the postseason. Reaves thrived as an on-ball option that could handle the scoring and playmaking duties when James was on the bench, while Hachimura provided the team another person capable of taking advantage of mismatches and getting his own bucket.

Both Reaves and Hachimura are in line for massive pay days either from the Lakers or someone else and the purple and gold took the first step in re-signing the two by extending their qualifying offers, they announced on Tuesday evening.

This move is a formality as the team was always expected to extend their qualifying offers, thus setting in motion the free agency process in earnest. Both Reaves and Hachimura stand to make much more than their qualifying offer amounts, though the number of teams with cap space has dwindled in the past week due to some recent trades.

For example, there are teams like the Houston Rockets who could chase after Reaves with a big offer though that is largely contingent on if James Harden returns. Meanwhile, Hachimura will surely have his fair share of suitors given the lack of young wings available in the market.

The Lakers have the ability to match any offer for either of its players, so keeping them on the team for next season is entirely in their hands. Although the price tags on both might be more rich than they’d like, retaining them is crucial if they’re serious about maintaining continuity and chemistry.

Hachimura withdraws from FIBA World Cup

This is a big summer for both Reaves and Hachimura, not only because of their first career free agencies, but also because of the time they were expected to spend with their respective national teams.

Reaves is set to play for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup this summer, a fun young American team that also features guys like Anthony Edwards, Brandon Ingram, Jaren Jackson Jr., Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson and Tyrese Haliburton, among others.

While Hachimura was planning to play for Japan, he actually recently announced that he has withdrew from the FIBA World Cup in order to focus on the upcoming NBA season.

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