Lakers Rumors: L.A. Expected To Match Any Offers For Austin Reaves & Rui Hachimura In Free Agency
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the Los Angeles Lakers are one game away from being eliminated by the Denver Nuggets, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura should still be in line for a good summer.

Reaves and Hachimura have shined in the 2023 Playoffs and their strong run has continued into the Western Conference Finals as they’ve been the third and fourth best players for the Lakers this series. The duo has given Los Angeles chances to win games against Denver and their strong performances will surely come up during contract negotiations in the summer.

Both Reaves and Hachimura are set to hit restricted free agency and should have numerous suitors given their play, youth and the shallowness of the upcoming class in general. The Lakers will have the right to match any offer sheet either player signs and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the team is expected to retain both players no matter the cost:

“Both restricted free agents, I don’t see any scenario where the Lakers would not match on both. They have to… They’ve proved themselves to be win-now players with LeBron and Anthony Davis on their timeline (and) these are both starting-level players… Again, they will match on those two. They just cannot let them leave.”

With LeBron James and Anthony Davis playing at the level they are, they need to keep players like Reaves and Hachimura around. Retaining both allows Los Angeles to build continuity as well as bridge this current iteration to the next era once James retires. Re-signing both also gives the Lakers more attractive assets on the roster in the event that a trade they can’t pass up materializes.

Things can change between now and the start of free agency, but Reaves and Hachimura have proven they deserve to stay long-term even if the dollar amount results in a hefty tax bill. Hopefully the front office and ownership make the right decision and Reaves and Hachimura and donning the purple and gold for the foreseeable future.

D’Angelo Russell expresses desire to stay with Lakers amid Kyrie Irving rumors

Another key free agent Los Angeles needs to make a decision on is D’Angelo Russell, who is an unrestricted free agent. Russell has had a tough series against the Nuggets, but still had several noteworthy postseason moments that make him worth an extended look.

Russell expressed his desire to stay with the Lakers, and did so when there were rumors swirling about their possible interest in Kyrie Irving.

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