The Lakers are concerned that rising star Austin Reaves could receive a contract offer well over $50 million during restricted free agency this summer, according to NBA Insider Shams Charania.
His development as a player has been of huge benefit to LA but because of this, it might make it difficult for the franchise to retain him, Charania explained.
“The most the Lakers can offer outright is four years, a bit over $50 million…,” Charania said. “If you’re Austin Reaves, what can you get out in the marketplace? I think more and more teams around the league, teams with cap space, teams like Houston, San Antonio, you have to look at a guy like that because he’s not old. He’s not super young either. He’s kind of that middle-of-the-pack age range guy that is still young enough career-wise that can come in, fit among your group, be a veteran leader to an extent, but still grow and develop with your group. And I think there is a concern for sure if you’re the Lakers that he’s gonna get potentially an offer sheet way, way, way higher than 50 [million].”
With the cap space that’s already taken up, the most the Lakers could offer Reaves is around a $50.8 million dollar deal over four years.
LA can match whatever another team offers because Reaves is a restricted free agent, but if another franchise goes beyond that $50.8 million mark, it will make it very hard for the Lakers to retain Reaves.
In a sitdown interview with Charania last month, Reaves expressed his desire stay with the Lakers for the foreseeable future.
“Yeah, I want to be a Laker,” Reaves said. “Obviously they gave me the first opportunity. I was a huge Laker fan growing up, big Kobe fan. Honestly just to be able to play for the Lakers organization is special and I want to be a Laker. So hopefully we can get this done and I can stay there for hopefully my whole career.”
In the postseason, Reaves is averaging 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game on 43.4 percent shooting from the field and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Despite only being in his second NBA year, Reaves’ maturity and focus on the court is well beyond his years and he provides fantastic support to superstars LeBron and AD.
His current focus will be on beating the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 of the Lakers-Nuggets series will take place on Tuesday, May 16 at 5:30PM PDT.