The Arkansas product becomes a restricted free agent after this season.
“Yeah I wanna be a Laker,” Reaves told Shams Charania of Stadium. “Obviously, they gave me the first opportunity. I was a huge Laker fan growing up. Big Kobe [Bryant] fan. So honestly, just to be able to play for the Lakers organization is special and I wanna be a Laker. So hopefully we can get this done and I can stay there for hopefully my whole career.”
As a restricted free agent, Reaves can re-sign with the Lakers or sign an offer sheet with a rival team. Los Angeles can match any offer sheet Reaves signs as long as it comes within 48 hours. The 24-year-old averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 2022-23 while shooting 52.9% from the field, 39.8% from beyond the arc and 86.4% from the free-throw line.
Reaves started the final 10 games of the season. He averaged 18.3 points and 6.1 assists and helped the Lakers go 8-2.
Report: The Lakers & Austin Reaves’ Camp Have Interest in Reaves Re-Signing With LA
Reaves and the Lakers have mutual interest in keeping their alliance going, according to a March 20 report from Jovan Buha of The Athletic. Los Angeles values Reaves and everything he brings to the table.
“Reaves’ surge is setting him up for a fascinating offseason,” Buha wrote. “He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and will undoubtedly have multiple suitors looking to pry him from the Lakers — especially after stat lines like Sunday’s. Both the Lakers and Reaves’ camp have interest in Reaves re-signing in Los Angeles, according to multiple league sources who were granted anonymity so that they could speak freely. The max the Lakers can offer Reaves is a four-year, $50.8 million contract if they chose to use his Early Bird Rights, but they also have the power to match any contract he signs with another team.”
Reaves went undrafted out of Oklahoma. He has career averages of 10.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
LeBron James Loves Austin Reaves
After the Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns on April 7, LeBron James was asked by reporters if Reaves has exceeded his expectations of him. The King said he didn’t have any expectations since Reaves is an undrafted player.
“I didn’t have expectations for him,” James said. “When you get an undrafted guy on your roster, you don’t really have much expectations for him, but I knew the player that we were getting because like I said, I did watch a lot of film on him and seen his ability to play the point, play off the ball. He had a high basketball IQ, being able to either make plays for himself or find open guys and I could just see the IQ working every time he was playing a game at Oklahoma.”
James, Reaves and the Lakers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 7-8 play-in game on April 11 at Crypto.com Arena. If the LakeShow win, they will be the seventh seed in the playoffs and face the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.