With training camp set to begin on Tuesday, many were wondering who the Los Angeles Lakers would sign in order to fill the 14th spot on their roster.
Many big names had been rumored and some worked out for the Lakers, but in the end, the team went young by converting the two-way contract of guard Austin Reaves into a standard two-year deal.
Following the draft, Reaves was signed to a two-way contract by the Lakers and was one of the standouts for the team during Summer League. Apparently, he has continued to turn heads since Summer League has ended and that could be the main reason why the Lakers went with him over more established names.
According to Shams Charania, Bill Oram and Sam Amick of The Athletic, Reaves has impressed the Lakers throughout the offseason and even had a good showing during the team’s recent Las Vegas minicamp:
Reaves, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, has impressed the Lakers throughout the offseason and had a strong showing at James’ minicamp. James and Westbrook even had the rookie conduct some fun-loving errands throughout the weekend in Vegas.
The Lakers have been able to see Reaves and what he brings to a team up close and personal over the past couple of months and obviously like what they see. The team has also been able to get a sense of his work ethic and dedication as he has surely been at the practice facility regularly.
It is also great to see that the Lakers’ superstars are taking to him as their rookie, giving him those errands while in Vegas. Team chemistry has been absolutely critical for the Lakers the last couple of seasons and Reaves has seemingly already been ingratiated by the veteran roster.
The Lakers are a mostly veteran team with only Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk being under 30 years old. Reaves now joins those four to basically make up the franchise’s young core and while he won’t be getting any serious minutes on this team, he has an excellent opportunity to grow as a player on a team with championship aspirations.
Additionally, given the Lakers’ recent development track record, Reaves could become a player to watch in the coming years.
Lakers expected to keep 15th roster spot open
While Reaves becomes the 14th player on the Lakers’ roster, they still technically sign one more player before the start of the season.
Rob Pelinka recently indicated they will leave that 15th roster spot open to begin the year for tax purposes and to maintain flexibility for the buyout market though, so Reaves was likely the last signing for now.
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