Austin Reaves rose from being a solid role player on the Los Angeles Lakers to being someone who became a household name for NBA fans in the summer of 2023. After a strong postseason with the purple and gold, Reaves made Team USA for the 2023 FIBA World Cup and continued his strong play with the best of the best.
Team USA ultimately fell short, losing both in the semi-finals and in the third-place game against Canada. Reaves became one of the players that were naturally blamed as he struggled a tad on the defensive end and doesn’t have the starpower that gives someone like Anthony Edwards a pass.
This disappointing finish by Team USA inspired LeBron James to want to play in the Olympics in 2024 and assemble one last super team with the best players in the league. Many would assume that this kills Reaves’ chances of making the roster to play in Paris next summer.
But that might not be the case. FIBA recently posted more statistics from the World Cup that showcased just how great Reaves was offensively for Team USA. Only Germany’s Dennis Schroder was better in isolation on the offensive end than Reaves.
FIBA World Cup stats may help Lakers’ Austin Reaves make Team USA
He may not have the starpower that other players on Team USA have but the numbers do not lie. If Reaves continues to develop as a player and takes another step in the 2023-24 season then his numbers in the FIBA World Cup could be the final deciding factor.
Not everyone on the international roster can play 25 minutes a game and be a huge role in the offense. Team USA needs someone who could be on the backend of the roster, play 10-15 minutes a game and get buckets when he is on the floor. Reaves obviously proved he could do just that at the international level.
Reaves also has a massive advantage in his back pocket that other Team USA hopefuls do not have: his relationship with LeBron James. LeBron has taken Reaves under his wing on the Lakers and if LeBron is spearheading this movement, he could push for his guy to make the roster to join him in Paris.
If Bobby Portis can make the FIBA World Cup roster then Reaves making the Olympic roster should not be too big of a stretch, especially when he has the numbers to back it up.