Undrafted rookie guard Austin Reaves has been extremely impressive since signing with the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-way deal following the 2021 NBA Draft. The team took notice of the work he put in during the offseason and ultimately converted his two-way contract to a standard one, and his coaches and teammates have undoubtedly been impressed not only with his play but his desire to learn and get better.
Reaves is a high IQ player and as such, asks a ton of questions to coaches and teammates. During the Lakers’ latest preseason contest, Reaves was seen in deep discussion with assistant coach David Fizdale on something. This is a normal occurrence for Reaves and is especially the case with veteran point guard Rajon Rondo.
In an interview with Mike Trudell on Spectrum SportsNet, Reaves admitted that he asks a lot of questions, particularly to Rondo:
“I ask a lot of questions,” Reaves said. “Like I said the other day, I ask Rondo something probably every five minutes so it’s really just me trying to be a sponge and learning. I got beat on two or three back cuts tonight and it’s just situations like that where they’re trying to coach me up and teach me situations how we got to guard it.”
For a young guard, there is arguably no one better to stick around and constantly ask questions to than Rondo, who is one of the smartest players to ever step foot on an NBA floor. If there is one better, it might be another one of his teammates in LeBron James, who Reaves has also been asking a lot of questions too.
“It’s Rondo and everybody knows the pedigree he has, the foundation that he’s set. He’s looked at as one of the highest basketball IQs in the game, so really just having him on the team and just someone that literally just ask questions to all the time is just a big help for me. I just want to be a sponge in those types of situations and it’s not just him. I ask Coach [Frank Vogel] questions, LeBron [James] questions. I go down the line. I just want to learn and like I said, be a sponge to take everything in,” Reaves said after Wednesday’s practice.
It’s good to see that Rondo is embracing his veteran role and he loves the fact that Reaves is asking these kinds of questions.
“Yeah, even today at shootaround, he’s talking about a situation where a guy’s coming off a pindown and you’re a top lock and I was telling him that we don’t do that here,” Rondo said after shootaround before the preseason game against the Warriors.
“But it was a great question, obviously, coming from a great background as far as knowing the game. Because that’s what you’d normally do against shooters is top lock, but our team, our personnel, what coach Frank wants of us is not what he did.”
Reaves is quickly becoming a fan favorite and has shown why the Lakers chose to give him the team’s 14th roster spot. He has an unbelievable opportunity to learn from a team full of veterans and he is not letting that go by without getting as much information as possible.
Reaves believes playing alongside Lakers’ Big 3 makes the game easy
Against the Warriors Reaves got his first chance to share the court with the Lakers’ Big 3 of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis. Reaves quickly realized that life on the court with three superstars of that caliber makes things much easier on him.
In an interview after the game, Reaves noted that with talented, pass-first players like them, he just has to be in the right spots and knock down the open jumpers that they will create for him.
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