Lakers News: Grant Hill Praises Austin Reaves’ Toughness & Basketball IQ
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Reaves had quite the sophomore year as he went from bench guy to pivotal starter for the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs.

Reaves was unfazed by his first postseason appearance, taking the elevated competition and stakes in stride and shining on the brightest stage. The former undrafted guard became the team’s third-best player and was able to cash in on his success with a new four-year, $56 million contract.

The guard won’t have much of a break as he’s slated to play for Team USA in the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup, joining a star-studded roster full of the league’s young talent. Reaves has already drawn high praise from head coach Steve Kerr, but Team USA’s managing director Grant Hill also couldn’t help but gush about him, via Khobi Price of the Southern California News Group:

“To piggyback what Steve said, I agree with everything. And I’ll just add when you look at his story and see how he has kind of busted down the door and created an opportunity for himself on the NBA stage, there’s a real toughness that goes with that feel and shooting, playmaking, everything Steve alluded to. So that mental, that physical toughness that he’s shown is something I think in addition to everything else Steve said will certainly be an added bonus. And unafraid and a guy who has an incredible IQ and feel for how to play, so looking forward to seeing him with the rest of the team.”

During the playoffs, Reaves showed a competitive edge to him that signaled he was playing with confidence and poise despite who he was up against. His attitude is the perfect fit for Team USA who will be going up against the world’s best. International play is also considerably more physical, though that could play into Reaves’s wheelhouse as he’s got a knack for drawing contact and getting to the line.

NBA players who commit to playing in FIBA or the Olympics usually come back much better for the upcoming season, so it’s fair to expect that Reaves could see another leap when the 2023-24 campaign officially begins.

Darvin Ham expects Austin Reaves to be All-Star as some point soon

When Darvin Ham finally inserted Reaves into the starting lineup, the Lakers took off and played like one of the best teams in the league. After a breakout second year, Ham believes Reaves will become an All-Star at some point soon.

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