It’s been quite a 12 months for Austin Reaves, who has gone from undrafted to receiving votes for the All-Rookie team. Reaves went from an undrafted free agent on a two-way contract to a historic triple-double in the season finale.
His work in-between caught the attention of a small handful of All-Rookie team voters as Reaves earned a pair of votes for the All-Rookie Second Team released on Wednesday.
The first team saw Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley unanimously selected while Franz Wagner and Jalen Green rounded out the team. Herbert Jones, Josh Giddey, Bones Hyland, Ayo Dosunmu and Chris Duarte earned Second Team honors.
Among the others receiving votes were Reaves, who was voted onto a pair of Second Teams by voters, the same amount as Jose Alvarado.
First, it should go without saying but Reaves was not “snubbed” for an All-Rookie team. He can have an impressive season without it ending in an All-Rookie. That also isn’t even to state that arguing about who belongs on an All-Rookie Second Team feels insane. If you feel like making this argument, I challenge you to name anyone on the 1988 All-Rookie Second Team and you’ll quickly realize how fruitless of a “debate” this is because there wasn’t even an All-Rookie Second Team in 1988.
It’s still quite the rise this season for Reaves. One year ago, he was taking part in the draft combine ahead of going undrafted later that summer. The Lakers took advantage of that, signed him to a two-way deal and by the time the season started, had him signed to a multi-year deal. Their faith was paid off as Reaves impressed as a rookie, earning not just rotation minutes but 19 starts in 61 games.
For Reaves to go from undrafted to earning All-Rookie votes is really a remarkable feat. Ironically, Alvarado is the only other person to go from undrafted to receiving votes this season.
This is also another feather in the cap for the Lakers scouting department, who are continuing their run of only hits, no misses. Hopefully, the Lakers will lean into their strengths moving forward with Reaves only the latest example of how great that department is at finding talent.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.