The Los Angeles Lakers made a ton of roster moves at this year’s trade deadline. After struggling to start the season, they made a real effort to change their roster at the deadline, and so far, the moves they made have paid off, as the team is performing better.
But on Sunday night against the Houston Rockets, it wasn’t a new guy who made the difference. It was Austin Reaves. He had a monster night, leading the Rockets to a win. After the game, Anthony Davis revealed a joke he and LeBron James make about Reaves’ ability to get to the free-throw line.
“He gets a lot of those calls. Me and Bron joke about it,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “Like, ‘Man, we wish we could get some of those.’ But yeah, man, as a guard, he’s able to – I don’t want to say manipulate the game – but to see how the game is being called and use it to his advantage. Like the Trae Youngs and James Hardens. Guys who get a lot of free throws. So, he’s able to take that to his advantage and get to the line.”
Reaves played extremely well against the Rockets, dropping a career-high 36 points and leading the Lakers to victory. He also added six rebounds and six assists to his totals, shooting 9-of-14 from the field and 1-of-4 from behind the three-point line.
As for Davis, he had a relatively quiet game against Houston. He ended the game with 15 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, two steals, and four blocks on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor.
Darvin Ham Shows Love to Austin Reaves
Reaves was critical to the Lakers’ win on Sunday night. Without him, the Lakers wouldn’t have won the game, and head coach Darvin Ham said as much post-game when discussing Reaves’ performance.
“I thought it was him being his normal self,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “What he’s been all year. Coming up in clutch moments for us. Trying to make plays downhill. Putting the defense in uncomfortable positions with his ability to attack the paint and draw fouls. So, he was great. He ended up with 36 [and] we needed all of them tonight. His aggressiveness reflects in his free-throw attempts. But that’s been Austin all year. He’s a hell of a player. Happy he’s on our team, and we damn sure needed him tonight.”
Austin Reaves Contract Demands Revealed
In other news, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the market for Reaves’ contract this summer will be roughly around the max the Lakers can offer – four years, $50 million.
“The maximum that the Lakers can offer him is four years and $50 million due to his restricted free agency status. That’s increasingly looking like his marketplace, at least,” Charania said via FanDuel TV. “And so, when you think about other teams, they can go higher than that. They can give them a poison pill offer sheet, which Chandler [Parsons] knows a lot about. But the Lakers can match that because he is a restricted free agent. There has been some success over the years – Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin – when you think about poison pill contracts. So, there’s going to be a significant market.”