The summer of 2023 has effectively been rebranded as the summer of Austin Reaves. After bursting onto the mainstream scene in the NBA Playoffs with the Los Angeles Lakers, the product of Little Rock, Arkansas has shined at an international level for Team USA at the FIBA World Cup.
Reaves has been one of the better players on a Team USA team that is stacked with some of the best young players in the game. Reaves has proven that the hype is for real and that is not just a byproduct of passionate Lakers fans.
That being said, Reaves is still causing Lakers fans to get a bit out of hand during the World Cup proceedings. Fans of the Lake Show have entered fantasy land as every single star that has a somewhat good relationship with Reaves has been dubbed a future Laker.
Even the fact that the logistics don’t line up hasn’t stopped some fans from dreaming. Those dreams may finally be coming to an end, though, as Reaves himself shut down the idea of him doing any recruiting (h/t Dan Woike, LA Times).
"“No, no, no. Not me. I would never […] No. I say the L.A. weather is good. And that’s it.”"
Austin Reaves kills Lakers fans’ dream of him recruiting Team USA
Of course, Reaves is not going to outright come out and say that he is recruiting players to play for Team USA. That would cause quite a stir and would likely get his team in trouble as well. But the fact of the matter is, Reaves probably isn’t lying.
The idea of Mikal Bridges or Haliburton coming to LA sounds great on paper but it does not pass a reality check. Bridges is likely going to sign a max extension with Brooklyn before he ever hits the market as the Nets can pay him more than anyone else. Haliburton just signed his max extension and won’t be a free agent for another five years.
If anything, the chances of Reaves leaving LA and joining one of these guys on their respective team is higher than the Lakers benefitting from this. Nobody ever seems to think of that side of the coin.
Lakers fans should just be enjoying Austin Reaves’ play for Team USA and should be getting hyped for how it will impact LA next season. The dreams that are multiple years down the line aren’t realistic.