While Austin Reaves was essentially a made man this offseason, guaranteed to make millions upon millions of dollars, that doesn’t mean it was any less stressful for him. Ultimately, while he was set for a huge payday, there was still uncertainty around him both in terms of how much money he would make and where he would be spending the next handful of years of his life.
As anyone in that position would do, Reaves sought the advice of his friends. Those friends just so happened to be two Lakers in Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell.
While Reaves has been pretty open about his free agency, he revealed a bit more to Mirin Fader of The Ringer in her feature of him, published this week.
Reaves had talked with some of his Lakers teammates about his impending future, especially Davis and D’Angelo Russell, two teammates with whom he’s grown especially close. “We had a very good feeling that L.A. was going to offer the [max] right away, and I asked [Russell and Davis] if I should take that or if I should wait. And they both gave me their opinions, and I took it to heart, because I feel like both of those guys, we have real relationships on the court, off the court.”
Ultimately, the Lakers did offer him that money and he returned to the place he wanted to remain in Los Angeles. It worked for everyone this summer and hopeful is the continuation of a long partnership between franchise and budding star.
It’s also notable how quickly Reaves and Russell have built a relationship to this extent. The two have been teammates for only about eight months but have spoken highly of one another in that brief time.
That also further speaks to the chemistry the team has heading into this season. The vibes with this team are off the charts and reminiscent of the 2019-20 team that won a title. Reaves, Russell and Davis are at the center of that.
Reaves is looking to take a step forward with a new contract, Russell has shown a terrific approach to the game this preseason and Davis is trying to put his stamp on the Lakers to make them his team.
It’s very early, but it certainly feels like the Lakers, for the first time since he arrived, have a form of a succession plan for the post-LeBron James years.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.