Austin Reaves has gone from strength strength these past two seasons, but one NBA exec thinks he’s got a higher ceiling.
“One NBA executive believes Reaves has more development ahead of him and voted for the 25-year-old guard as his top breakout candidate this season,” Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported.
It has been quite the journey for Reaves, who entered the league undrafted, but has since become a starter for the Lakers and even represented Team USA at the FIBA World Cup in August.
He has become a reliable player for the purple and gold and behind LeBron and Anthony Davis, has been one of their best performers in crunch time.
He re-signed with the Lakers as an unrestricted free agent over the summer on a four-year, $56 million early bird maximum contract.
The guard had a standout season and was able to produce even better numbers in the postseason last year, averaging averaging 16.9 points per game compared to 13 points during the regular season.
Reaves and the rest of the Lakers squad surely would have been relieved to see LeBron James returning this season, after he hinted he may retire at last season’s end.
The league’s all-time leading scorer being in the squad significantly increases the Lakers chance of winning a chip and he’s reportedly extra motivated at training so far.
“But a few people close to James told The Times that night that they thought he was just physically and emotionally exhausted,” Dan Woike wrote regarding the night James hinted at possibly retiring. “They predicted any retirement thoughts would soon pass, which we know they did. Now he’s back with the Lakers, with insiders telling The Times that James has been extra engaged in camp, particularly from a leadership perspective.”