Buha: Austin Reaves is close to untouchable for Lakers in trade talks

The NBA’s trade deadline is on Feb. 8, and the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be aggressive in looking to make a move that will move the needle for them.

Their biggest, or at least most talked about, target is Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. But this week, more targets have reportedly emerged, including Collin Sexton of the Utah Jazz and Bruce Brown, who was traded to the Toronto Raptors this week.

The Lakers’ most attractive trade asset is third-year man Austin Reaves. But the Lakers have been reluctant to offer him for Murray. In fact, according to Jovan Buha, Reaves is almost untouchable in any trade talks right now.

Via The Athletic:

“Reaves isn’t technically untouchable, but he’s close. The Lakers value him highly and have no interest in trading him, according to team and league sources,” wrote Buha. “He’s on a cost-controlled, team-friendly deal for at least two more seasons. For the Lakers to consider moving Reaves, they’d need to receive either a clear-cut All-Star — someone better than Murray or LaVine, for example — or multiple rotation upgrades, according to those sources.”

Reaves, who went undrafted in 2021, is averaging 15.1 points and 5.2 assists a game. Although his shooting efficiency has fluctuated a bit, he’s shooting 49.4% from the field this season, and he appears to be breaking out of a 3-point shooting slump he had been in a couple of weeks ago.

Perhaps what makes the Lakers most reluctant to include him in trade talks is his intangibles. He plays the game with the type of grit and toughness that simply cannot be taught.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire