Lakers re-sign Austin Reaves: A+
This is the move of the offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers and might just be the best move in the entire league. There are naturally going to be naysayers like Colin Cowherd who simply don’t get it but Austin Reaves is a legitimate difference-maker that is returning to the purple and gold.
Reaves has continually gotten better in Los Angeles since the team signed him as an undrafted free agent. Fans have seen Reaves level up in the time he has been a pro and what he showed in the NBA Playoffs was legitimately special.
Reaves was the third-best player on a Lakers team that made the Western Conference Finals. There were countless times when the Lakers’ offense was at its best when it was running through Reaves. Would the Lakers have at least lasted longer against the Denver Nuggets if they went to Reaves more down the stretch? Probably.
Reaves always seemed like a lock to come back to the team but nobody expected him to return to Los Angeles for under $60 million. Even if another team didn’t want Reaves (which they should have), they should have at least offered him a max sheet to force the Lakers to pay the absolute most.
But that is not what happened. In a market that is seeing players like Jerami Grant get paid twice as much, Reaves is going to make $14 million per year. That is nothing for what he is going to bring as he legitimately could be an all-star before his contract expires.