Lakers Rumors: Austin Reaves Expected To Earn More In Free Agency Than Alex Caruso
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers may be struggling to find success on the court during the 2022-23 season, but they can take some solace in the fact that their scouting department remains one of the best in the league.

Because of the Anthony Davis trade, the Lakers have been short on draft picks so they’ve been forced to scrounge for talent in the second round and undrafted free agent pool. However, they’ve been able to unearth gems that turned into valuable contributors on cheap deals.

For example, Los Angeles managed to discover Alex Caruso, who became a key cog in their 2020 championship run and later Austin Reaves, who is currently a mainstay in the rotation. Both were undrafted free agents who carved out roles on the Lakers and appear to have long NBA careers ahead of them.

When it comes to Reaves, he has certainly parlayed his sophomore season into a more lucrative deal when he hits restricted free agency this summer. In an appearance on ‘Late Night Lake Show’ Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported that the bar for Reaves will be above what Caruso got:

“From what I’ve heard on that, it’s going to be more than Caruso money, that’s for sure. It’s going to be double digits.”

Caruso signed a four-year, $36 million deal with the Chicago Bulls after the 2020-21 season. To this day, it’s a move that haunts the Lakers considering what Caruso brings on the defensive end and now they find themselves in the same situation with Reaves, who has clearly played above his current contract.

While Reaves is a couple of notches below Caruso in terms of defensive capability, he’s a much more well-rounded player as he can initiate the offense and even create his own shot when need be. That type of versatility as a bigger combo guard has real value around the league and he’ll surely have his fair share of suitors once the season is over.

For the time being, Reaves and the rest of the role players will need to step up as Anthony Davis remains sidelined with a stress injury. Should Reaves help the Lakers hold down the fort, he could be in store for an even bigger payday.

LeBron James emphasizes Lakers miss Anthony Davis

Although Los Angeles finally got a win against the Orlando Magic to snap a four-game losing streak, the team clearly needs Davis to return as soon as possible if they hope to turn the season around. LeBron James has been forced to carry an even bigger load with his costar out and he emphasized that he and roster have clearly missed Davis’ presence.

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