The San Antonio Spurs have been the most exciting team in the NBA this summer.
Fresh off selecting Victor Wembanyama with the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, everyone is hyped to see what this squad will be able to do.
When free agency first commenced, there was chatter that, in addition to Wembanyama, San Antonio also had its eye on Los Angeles Lakers star Austin Reaves.
Reaves was a restricted free agent, but expressed an openness to going with whoever offered him the most cash.
Ultimately, the Spurs opted not to try and steal Reaves away from L.A.
This week, Jovan Buha of The Athletic explained why.
“The Spurs, fresh off of having drafted No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama, considered two offers for Reaves, according to multiple league sources not authorized to speak publicly,” he wrote.
“One for the maximum amount of dollars and years (approximately four years, $100 million) and a smaller, shorter structure (three years, $60 million). In both cases, if the Lakers matched the offer, Reaves’ salary would’ve ballooned for Los Angeles in the third and/or fourth year due to the rule informally known as the Arenas provision.
“Ultimately, L.A.’s insistence that it would match any offer sheet Reaves signed scared off the Spurs and all other potential cap-space suitors.”
A lot of people mocked the Lakers for saying they’d match any offer for Reaves. The front office was accused of having a bad poker face and permitting other franchises to mess up their salary cap situation for no reason.
What an offseason for the Washington Commanders. https://t.co/osCwhIYHlj
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 23, 2023
That didn’t end up happening, though. In the end, L.A.’s front office played the whole thing perfectly.
Pretty much everyone involved in this situation ended up a winner, though. The Lakers got their man in Reaves. Reaves got $54 million over four years and has been partying it up with his girlfriend nonstop ever since. The Spurs still got Wembanyama. Win-win-win.
What could have been with Wembanyama and Reaves both on the Spurs, though? The world will never know.