Guard Confused Over Lakers Signing, Thought He Was Traded to L.A.

austin rivers

Getty Austin Rivers defended by Chris Paul.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to fill up one of their last roster spots with a rookie guard out of Oklahoma, Austin Reaves. However, the move caused a bit of confusion for one veteran guard. Austin Rivers has bounced around the league quite a bit throughout his career, playing for six different teams.

When he saw Reaves’ name attached to the Lakers, for a brief moment he thought it was his name.

“I’m not going to lie… I had to read this s*** twice. I thought I was going to pack again smh,” Rivers said in a comment, via Bleacher Report.

A lot of times, NBA players don’t find out they’ve been traded until the news appears online. Reaves and Rivers do have very similar names so it’s easy to see why the veteran would get confused. However, it looks like he’s sticking in Denver for the time being as Los Angeles isn’t needing to trade for a veteran guard right now.

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Reaves Impressed LeBron James at Minicamp

austin reaves

GettyLos Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves.

Everybody knows that the Lakers have an old team right now but they’ve had a lot of success with young players in recent years. Talen Horton-Tucker and Alex Caruso went from being little-known rookies to valuable rotational pieces. Signing Reaves gives the Lakers more youth and he could have the potential to develop into a solid bench player for the team.

Los Angeles has other rookies who will be in training camp so why is it that Reaves is the one who got the contract? Apparently, he impressed LeBron James recently, according to a report from The Athletic:

On Sunday, the Lakers reached agreement on a two-year deal with guard Austin Reaves, converting his two-way contract to a standard NBA deal ahead of training camp. The Lakers will have a team option on the second year of Reaves‘ contract, sources said. Reaves, a 6-foot-5 combo guard, has impressed the Lakers throughout the offseason and had a strong showing at James’ minicamp. James and Westbrook even had the rookie conduct some fun-loving errands throughout the weekend in Vegas.

LeBron held a minicamp for the Lakers in Las Vegas and Reaves’ performance appears to be what earned him a roster spot.

Reaves Not Likely to Play Much

Early signs are good for Reaves. LeBron’s endorsement carries a ton of weight for the Lakers. However, he’s still very much a developmental prospect. He only made 34.7% of his threes in college. The quickest way for a young guard to get playing time in the NBA is to have the ability to sink some threes.

The Lakers have a ton of veteran talent on the roster right now so it’s hard to imagine Reaves sees the court a lot. Horton-Tucker only played in six games as a rookie. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we see a similar number for Reaves. That said, he’s in the best position for a young player to learn. He’s going to be sitting next to some of the greatest basketball players of all time every night. If he has potential, the Lakers will get it out of him.

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