Raptors’ Dennis Schroder Sends Message to Lakers’ Austin Reaves After FIBA Upset

Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Austin Reaves (R) of Team USA and Dennis Schroder (L) of Germany.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves spoke candidly after Team USA’s upset 113-111 loss to Germany in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Semi-Finals. The game saw Reaves once again become a target of the opposing offense, a strategy that also doomed the US in its matchup against Lithuania.

This time, though, it was former teammate and Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder who dropped the dagger on Reaves and Team USA, setting up an emotional meeting between the two after the game.

“Gives me tears in the eyes seeing you infront of our lockerroom after the game still going thru the pain bc i know how big of a winner you are!! You are a bad man on the court & off the court you are one of the most genuine persons Brodie,” Schroder wrote in an Instagram post on September 9 “That’s why the world loves you! Stay that way & whatever the MAX is in 4 years that’s what you gonna get! Ps: let me hold a $ then 😅 #RESPECT AR15”

Schroder had 16 points on 7-for-13 shooting with nine assists and two steals in the win.

“Tip your hat to him,” Reaves said, per Tim Reynolds of the LA Times on September 8. “I know how special this moment is for him.”

Reaves finished with 21 points on 7-for-10 shooting including 3-for-5 from three-point range. But he was also just a plus-1 because of the way he was targeted on defense.

“Anytime you lose, at least for me – I can probably speak for every guy in that locker room as well, coaching staff, all that – anytime you lose it sucks,” Reaves said, via Fastbreak Channel on September 8, still coming away feeling positive about the overall experience of being with Team USA.

Austin Reaves: ‘I Have Competed at a High Level’

“I think I’ve been able to learn a lot from a lot of really good players, a lot of really good coaches, and basically just see that I belong,” Austin Reaves said, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic on September 8. “I feel like I have competed at a high level.”

Reaves was a surprising – and somewhat controversial addition to Team USA’s roster even coming off his impressive finish to the regular season and showing in the postseason. He drew praise early on from head coach Steve Kerr and is averaging 12.4 points on 59% shooting overall and 52.4% from deep in the tournament.

“Obviously I have things to work on,” Reaves said, per Vardon. “But I feel like I can hit the ground running for the first of the year.”

Reaves will be the Lakers’ starting shooting guard, per head coach Darvin Ham.

“I’m putting it on record right now: Austin Reaves will be an All-Star at some point soon,” Ham said on the “#thisleague: UNCUT” podcast on July 13. “My plan is to continue to feature him. He’s our starting 2-guard.”

Austin Reaves Helped Elevate Lakers Last Season

The Lakers put their money where Ham’s mouth is, inking Reaves to a four-year, $53.8 million contract in restricted free agency. Amid an aggressive offseason from general manager Rob Pelinka, Reaves has been one of the few locks for the starting lineup alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Los Angeles boasted a plus-6.3 net rating with Reaves at shooting guard last season, ranking in the 87th percentile, per Cleaning The Glass.

Their rating spiked to plus-18.8 with Davis and James on the floor too.

The key will be who they put around those three with newly signed Christian Wood expected to come off the bench while Rui Hachimura starts, solving that spot. But D’Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent vying for the starting point guard role adding more intrigue to training camp.