Buha: Lakers want to re-sign Austin Reaves
One of the reasons the Los Angeles Lakers have been playing well over the last month and apparently have some light at the end of the tunnel is Austin Reaves.
The undrafted wing first raised eyebrows last season as a rookie when he quickly became a rotation player, but this season, he looks like a greater enhanced player.
Reaves is averaging 11.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 27.6 minutes per game this season. He is one of the NBA’s most efficient offensive players, as he’s shooting 51.1 percent overall and 38.5 percent from 3-point range, as well as 86.0 percent from the free throw line.
He has emerged as not only a reliable role player but also a Swiss Army knife for L.A.
He will be a free agent this summer, which has led some Lakers fans to fear that he will leave in order to seek more money. But according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, both sides have mutual interest in getting a new deal done, even though several other teams will be interested in snagging him.
“Both Austin Reaves and the Lakers want to get a deal done, I’ve been told,” Buha told HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. “With that said, I’ve also heard multiple teams have Reaves on their free agency radar. The Lakers can offer him up to four years, $50 million. Something to keep an eye on, in my opinion, would be a Talen Horton-Tucker type of contract that could make sense for both sides with a two-plus-one (two years guaranteed and a third-year option). I think the mid-level exception is his floor. Other teams don’t mind being used as leverage against the Lakers as a big market team. Reaves has played well as a lead facilitator and an efficient scorer for the second unit.”
Los Angeles was in a similar situation two years ago when guard Alex Caruso, a huge fan favorite and a key role player on its 2020 championship team, was a free agent. Both sides had mutual interest in a new contract, but Caruso left for the Chicago Bulls when the Lakers reportedly didn’t offer him a big enough contract.
Buha also told Scotto that the Lakers intend on retaining their current roster, so perhaps this time things will turn out better for them regarding Reaves than they did with Caruso.
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