Austin Reaves’s second-year breakout was front and center in the win over the Orlando Magic as he led the Los Angeles Lakers to a close 111-105 victory.
Reaves has really expanded his offensive game in his sophomore season, showing off a variety of finishes at the rim as well as the ability to create contact and draw fouls. Against the Magic, Reaves set new career highs in points scored, free throws attempted and free throws made.
With how well he is playing, Reaves has set himself up for a lucrative new contract and it seems the Lakers are interested in bringing him back, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
Reaves’ surge is setting him up for a fascinating offseason. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and will undoubtedly have multiple suitors looking to pry him from the Lakers — especially after stat lines like Sunday’s. Both the Lakers and Reaves’ camp have interest in Reaves re-signing in Los Angeles, according to multiple league sources who were granted anonymity so that they coud speak freely. The max the Lakers can offer Reaves is a four-year, $50.8 million contract if they chose to use his Early Bird Rights, but they also have the power to match any contract he signs with another team.
Los Angeles already made a mistake not re-signing a previous undrafted free agent in Alex Caruso, so this new report should give fans some optimism that they won’t make the same error twice. Reaves has become a key piece in Darvin Ham’s rotation and it would be in the team’s best interest to keep him for the future.
Although Reaves turns 25 years old at the end of the 2022-23 season, there’s reason to believe he has some more upside given his work ethic. Should he continue his current trajectory of development, the guard can turn into an even more special player.
His market is going to be interesting to monitor when free agency begins, but with matching rights to any contract the purple and gold should make re-signing him a top priority.
Austin Reaves said it means a lot to hear MVP chants from crowd
Reaves has endeared himself to Lakers Nation for what he does on both ends of the court, and he’s appreciated the love and support from the fans. Against Orlando, the Crypto.com arena busted out an MVP champ in the fourth quarter for Reaves and he later said it meant a lot to hear it.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!