Lakers Coach Darvin Ham Reportedly Not Fond Of Austin Reaves

Lakers Coach Darvin Ham Reportedly Not Fond Of Austin Reaves

The relationship between Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham and one of the team’s biggest stars, Austin Reaves, seems to be deteriorating.

Earlier this year Ham made the perplexing decision to bench Reaves despite him being one of L.A.’s best players. In addition to just what he brings on the court, Reaves was also the recipient of a four-year, $54 million deal from the front office this past offseason.

Why pay the 25-year-old that sort of money just to diminish his role?

So what is behind Reaves’ rapidly shrinking standing with the team?

According to Lakers insider Anthony Irvin, Ham is not particularly fond of Reaves.

“This possible thing between [Reaves] and Ham is… something,” he wrote.

“I’m here to tell you, I’ve heard it very clearly, that for whatever reason, Ham doesn’t mess with Austin the way that you would think he would. This might escalate all the way to where an agent gets involved or the front office gets involved and people start asking what is going into these decisions?”

Last year the Lakers went from being one of the NBA’s worst teams to a spot in the Western Conference Finals. The lineup that played the biggest role in that was composed of Reaves, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt.

How many minutes has that entire group played together this season? One. How many of those players have already been benched by Ham in 2023? Two.

The Lakers are currently one of two frontrunners for Dejounte Murray, one of three for Trae Young and one of four for Zach LaVine.

If any of those deals come to fruition, maybe Ham’s sins will get ignored.

That said – it is hard to pull off blockbuster trades. It is much easier to make due with the roster that you have and maximize the talent on it. Ham is failing to do that at the moment. There is a reason why two names have already been floated as potential replacements for him.

The NBA season is a long one.

There is still plenty of time to mend fences, repair relationships and right the ship.

Will Ham and Reaves be able to get on the same page, for the Lakers’ sake, before it’s too late? Time will tell.

Related: Lakers Linked To Potential Trade With Nets

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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