Austin Reaves’ Future With Lakers Could Be In Doubt

Austin Reaves’ Future With Lakers Could Be In Doubt

In a season filled with injuries, disappointment and inconsistent play, Austin Reaves has been a huge bright spot for the Los Angeles Lakers.

So far he is averaging 11.6 points per game on 51.1 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and he is doing it in just 28 minutes of action per game.

When he isn’t stunting on opponents on the court, Reaves has also shown a certain propensity for charming the ladies off it.

Understandably, fans want to see him in purple and gold for a long time to come.

But will that actually end up happening?

According to NBA insider Jovan Buha, the Lakers could have another Alex Caruso situation on their hands with Reaves, who will become a restricted free agent this summer.

“I think this is a similar situation to D-Lo in terms of mutual interest on both sides,” he said.

“But also, there are going to be multiple suitors for Reaves. He’s played everything from point guard to small forward. He can defend multiple positions and is a smart, high IQ basketball player. He was a 50-40-90 guy for the early part of the season. He’s an efficient player and someone that Darvin Ham has referred to as a Swiss Army knife this season. He can play on or off the ball.

“This is kind of lining up to potentially be another Alex Caruso situation where he wants to be there, and the Lakers want to retain him, but if they try to get a little too cute with the offer or negotiation, I could see him potentially leaving and going somewhere where he’s going to get the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception.”

L.A. famously botched the Caruso negotiations in epic fashion. The bad blood from that still lingers, and even opposing NBA head coaches mocked the Lakers for their handling of the situation.

Will history repeat itself with Reaves? Time will tell.

At the moment, the 24-year-old is a huge fan favorite and developing role player. The Lakers’ refusal to include him any trade for Kyrie Irving was a good first step.

Until he actually signs the contract, though – nothing is certain.

Can the Lakers keep Reaves with the organization long-term? An answer one way or the other will emerge soon enough.

Related: Utah State Cheerleader Who Went Viral During March Madness Identified

Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.
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