Every step of the way through his first two seasons in the league, Austin Reaves has met the moment. Whether as an undrafted rookie, a role player off the bench, a starter or a young player in his first playoff series, Reaves has found success time and time again.
And as has been noted multiple times, each step along the way he proves himself is more money on his upcoming contract. Reaves is set for restricted free agency this summer.
But a lot of other teams are also interested in Reaves. And that will create competition in the market and could quickly make the price grow. In a recent piece by Dave McMenamin of ESPN, he detailed just how many other teams will be looking at Reaves in free agency. Spoiler, it’s a lot.
There certainly could be outside offers. A rival Western Conference executive told ESPN that Reaves’ combination of age, skill set and salary slot would make him an attractive option for “literally every team in the league.” A franchise with the requisite salary-cap space could backload a multiyear offer to Reaves that would pay him $60 million over four years, starting at $11.4 million but leaping to $18.5 million in the final two, according to Marks, but both Reaves and the Lakers sound committed to striking a deal.
This all could be taken in a way that would worry Lakers fans, which maybe it should. But given how much both the Lakers and Reaves have put it out there that they want this to be a long-term partnership, it’s hard to worry too much.
Basically, it feels like the Lakers would have to pretty severely mismanage the situation to simply lose Reaves. Even if they can’t agree on a deal together, it’s going to be hard to lose him outright with him being a restricted free agent.
As has also been brought up many times as well, the Lakers have badly mismanaged a situation prior with Alex Caruso but those circumstances were different. Reaves wants to be in Los Angeles, but it’s certainly going to come at a pretty penny.
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