Coming into the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers’ top priority was re-signing guard Austin Reaves after his breakout 2022-23 campaign.
After originally signing with the Lakers as an undrafted free agent, Reaves showed flashes of his potential during his rookie season.
He got an even bigger opportunity under Darvin Ham in his second season and made the most of it, eventually taking over as a starter and becoming the Lakers’ third-most important player during their playoff run.
Overall in the 2022-23 season, Reaves averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 52.9% from the field, 39.8% from 3-point range and 86.4% from the free throw line. After taking on a bigger role and eventually being inserted into the starting lineup after the trade deadline, he averaged 18.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists in the Lakers’ final 21 regular season games while maintaining extremely high efficiency.
He continued that into the postseason where he averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists during the Lakers’ 16 games.
With that breakout performance, Reaves became one of the most coveted restricted free agents going into the offseason and has earned his money in free agency, agreeing to a four-year deal with the Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
RFA Austin Reaves has agreed to return to the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year, $56 million Early Bird maximum contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Agents Aaron Reilly and Reggie Berry of AMR Agency negotiated the new deal to keep Reaves in L.A. long term.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2023
Both Reaves and the Lakers organization have clear all along that they wanted to continue their partnership, and now the team has kept their word by securing him to a long-term deal.
This is a nice payday for Reaves, who made the league minimum his first two seasons after signing as an undrafted free agent.
Reaves now not only gets a nice payday, but he will continue his career playing for one of the biggest brands in sports in one of the biggest media markets alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the other teammates he has grown so close to.
Inking Reaves to this deal just adds to what has been an impressive offseason for the Lakers thus far, with the team making moves quickly and improving their roster across the board while keeping their talented core intact and ready to compete next season.
Lakers have busy first day of free agency
The Lakers were one of the busier teams in the league on the first day of free agency, re-signing Rui Hachimura while also reportedly bringing in Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish.
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