There was little suspense with Austin Reaves and free agency this year. The only real question is how much money it would cost the Lakers to retain Reaves, with his return to Los Angeles a foregone conclusion.
Even if talks never advanced to the point of an offer sheet from another team in free agency, though, that doesn’t mean there were no talks at all. Reaves recently appeared on All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson and discussed his free agency, revealing who some of the competing teams were.
Reaves: “I really wanted to be in LA the whole time. There were a couple situations that were close but, like I said, I really wanted to be in LA. LA feels like home to me so that’s really where I wanted to be.”
Barnes: “Well give us maybe two teams you possibly thought about going to.”
Reaves: “Houston, before (signing) Fred (Van Vleet) and then San Antonio”
Leading up to free agency, Houston was the only team mentioned when it came to another side putting forth an offer sheet. The Rockets made sense until, as Reaves noted, they signed Fred Van Vleet to an obscene contract.
The Spurs were the team most expected to make an offer once free agency began playing out. With a host of cap space and one of the only teams with it — after Houston’s spending spree on Van Vleet and Dillon Brooks — it felt like their next option would be to go after Reaves.
Ultimately, and obviously, that did not happen as the Lakers landed a “steal” with Reaves’ contract instead. His repeated desire to remain a Laker likely played a role as well.
The end result was him not giving much thought to living in Texas versus southern California, a fair decision to make. And now he’ll remain a Laker for years to come, a win for everyone involved.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.