Considering so much of the Los Angeles Lakers’ salary cap is going towards their three stars, they have needed to get production from players on minimum contracts to be successful.
Two players who have given them that are Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel, and both have done so on non-guaranteed contracts so far this season.
Neither Reaves nor Gabriel are known for their scoring but have given the Lakers toughness and effort on both ends of the floor as mainstays in Darvin Ham’s rotation.
With how well they have played and how vital they are to what the Lakers are doing moving forward, it comes as no surprise that the organization will be guaranteeing their contracts for the rest of the season, via Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Reporting with @mcten: As expected, the Lakers are guaranteeing the contracts of Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel for the rest of the season.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 6, 2023
The deadline for non-guaranteed contracts to be guaranteed for the rest of the season is this Saturday. While the Lakers waited this long to make a decision on Reaves and Gabriel, it likely was an easy one for both players considering how well they have played.
In 36 games (12 starts), Reaves has averaged 10.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 48.8% from the field and 36% from 3-point range.
Gabriel has been playing the most minutes of his career at 14.4 per game and is and is averaging 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds with impressive shooting percentages of 60.9 from the field and 41.2 from 3.
Both players will now finish out the year with the Lakers, unless they are traded, which likely won’t be the case. The Lakers originally signed Reaves as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma in 2021. While he joined the team on a two-way contract, he earned a standard NBA contract before ever taking the floor in an NBA game and has continued to progress his game ever since.
Reaves ruled out against Hawks
Unfortunately, Reaves injured his hamstring in a recent game and has been ruled out of Friday night’s contest against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Lakers will have to make up for his production but thankfully should also be getting LeBron James back in the lineup after his one-game absence due to a non-COVID illness.
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