After months of speculation about offer sheets and contract figures, the Lakers and Austin Reaves took matters into their own hands in free agency. The two sides agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
RFA Austin Reaves has agreed to return to the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year, $56 million Early Bird maximum contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Agents Aaron Reilly and Reggie Berry of AMR Agency negotiated the new deal to keep Reaves in L.A. long term.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2023
According to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times, the fourth year of Reaves’ deal is a player option, and Charania added that the deal contains a 15% trade kicker and “the max advance allowable” as well.
Austin Reaves cap hits:— Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) July 1, 2023
$400k less this season had he signed a big offer sheet.
Lakers are $1.3M below the tax and $8.2M below the hard cap with 13 players after they sign Maxwell Lewis to a rookie minimum. https://t.co/M4MyPfRFfx
The Lakers are now projected to be about $8 million below the hard cap with 13 players on their roster, including their two draft picks. This signing means they could still re-sign Malik Beasley for more than the minimum, if that’s something both sides still have interest in:
*They'd be $8M below the apron with those Reaves and Lewis signings.— Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) July 1, 2023
Reaves could have gotten more money had he gotten an offer sheet from another team, but matters never got to that point. By leaking to everyone who asked that they would match any offer sheet he received, the Lakers also softened the market for Reaves. Paired with the general lack of teams with cap space available, the Lakers were able to take advantage and sign Reaves to a smaller deal.
The result is the Lakers getting a long-term discount on Reaves, who still gets a hefty payday after his breakout season.
In locking up Reaves, the Lakers have a dynamic guard that was their third-best player in the playoffs and was as reliable a player as any role player on the roster throughout the entirety of last season. All of that came in just the second year of his NBA career, which makes it all the more impressive.
It’s all been quite the rise for Reaves, who went from undrafted free agent to a player with a max contract from the Lakers, a new signature shoe and a spot on Team USA’s roster all inside of two years.
This breaking news story may be updated with more information as it develops. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.