Rob Pelinka Reveals Lakers’ First Call In Free Agency Was To Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves, Lakers
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Down the stretch of last season Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves raised his game to another level, establishing himself as one of the most important players on the team. Some questioned whether that could continue in the postseason, but he immediately silenced all doubters as he delivered time and time again.

A restricted free agent this summer there were a lot of rumors that teams would look to try and poach Reaves away from the Lakers, but general manager Rob Pelinka constantly made it clear that the front office intended on matching any potential offer their young guard received.

Ultimately, the Lakers would bring Reaves back on a four-year, $56 million deal, the maximum amount they could offer him. And getting Reaves back was the top priority for the Lakers as Pelinka revealed that the first call he made when free agency began was to the guard, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Austin was our first call, of course, when the clock ticked 3 p.m. and we were allowed to, we reached out to him and his agents. He said to us at the end of the season he really wanted to be a Laker and I think he tweeted the other day ‘Laker for life.’ That said I think it was important for us as an organization to give him the respect to go through the process and to see what was out there as a free agent. We never want to rush anyone into a decision or take options away from a player, but what we wanted him extraordinarily badly to re-sign. I think you could tell his heart’s desire was to be a Laker so once he went through the process and we re-engaged with his agents, we were happy it was able to be a streamlined and pretty expeditious process to get him signed.”

Pelinka is right in that Reaves certainly earned the right to see what free agency had to offer. He could have received a much bigger offer from another team than what the Lakers could give him, but it seems as if the Lakers basically scared away any team from making an offer as they knew it would be matched.

In the end, both Reaves and the Lakers got what they want which is him remaining with the organization. Now all the work towards reaching the ultimate goal begins and Reaves will be a huge part of the Lakers quest to bring home that 18th NBA Championship.

Lakers plan on Austin Reaves running more offense next season

The Lakers plan on Reaves continuing to grow and develop with the team. Last season he showed his capabilities as a primary creator on offense at times and that role should increase next year.

The Lakers reportedly plan on Reaves running more of the offense next season, something many felt should have been happening in the playoffs. With his ability to shoot, get to the basket, draw fouls and make great passes, Reaves is going to be a lot for defenses to deal with.

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