Austin Reaves signed a four-year, $54 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Lakers earlier in the offseason.
In the aftermath of a career year that saw him at times emerge as L.A.’s third-best player, Reaves being locked up for many more years to come was a relief for all parties involved.
That said, there were a few other squads that legitimately intrigued the 25-year-old.
In a conversation with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the All The Smoke podcast, Reaves acknowledged that there were two teams out there that he partially considered leaving the Lakers for.
Those two teams? The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.
“Houston, before Fred [VanVleet], and then San Antonio,” Reaves said.
That said, in his heart of hearts, Reaves wanted to remain a Laker.
“I really wanted to be in L.A. the whole time,” Reaves admitted.
“There were a couple situations that were close, but like I said, I really wanted to be in L.A. L.A. feels like home to me, so that’s really where I wanted to be.”
Reaves’ conversation with Barnes and Jackson was a far-reaching one. It also featured him finally getting brutally honest about Russell Westbrook’s time with the Lakers.
Big picture, it will be fascinating to see how Reaves looks next season. Obviously the Lakers paid him with the intention of watching him grow and develop into a big star in the years to come.
That said, a lot of guys overperform in contract years and regress. Clearly all parties involved are hoping that won’t be the case here.
Over the past few weeks Reaves has been celebrating getting paid with his girlfriend.
Justin Fields had himself a busy week. https://t.co/xUPvDMC85s
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 22, 2023
But soon enough, he will need to get back to work once more.
The Lakers need Reaves to step up and be a star in 2023-24.
Will Reaves ultimately be up to the task? An answer one way or the other will emerge soon enough.