Austin Reaves is continuing his strong performance from the end of the NBA season, as the up-and-coming Los Angeles
Lakers player showcased an impressive performance for Team USA in their 2023 FIBA World Cup opener on Saturday.
— NBA CHAMPION 🏀 (@NBACHAMPION17) August 26, 2023
Reaves contributed 12 points and six assists, delivering notable standout moments, during a 99-72 triumph against New Zealand.
The 25-year-old entered the game as a substitute, aiding in Team USA’s comfortable win in the Philippines.
His reception of an enthusiastic ovation during pregame introductions underscores his rising prominence, stemming from a more successful second NBA season and noteworthy playoff performance with the Lakers.
The Lakers advanced to the 2023 Western Conference Finals before falling to the eventual NBA champions, the Denver Nuggets.
Austin Reaves transition layups are heavenly 🔥 pic.twitter.com/TaRGkCaDQR
— JAKE (@KingJakeVII) August 26, 2023
Reaves experienced a hectic offseason, marked by his re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers as a restricted free agent, securing a four-year deal valued at approximately $54 million.
Additionally, he unveiled a unique signature shoe and had to address speculations regarding a possible romantic involvement with Taylor Swift.
You heard him 😏 pic.twitter.com/H9KJIfcOk6
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 26, 2023
Reaves’ impressive performance on the court laid the foundation for his accomplishments. He maintained an average of 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game during the 2023 playoffs, garnering attention in high-stakes matches with broad viewership.
Even so, some were taken aback by his inclusion in Team USA, and his performance with the team has certainly surprised many of those skeptics.
Onlookers have commended his gameplay as surpassing expectations, and Team USA’s head coach, Steve Kerr, praised Reaves’ instincts and vision during tournament preparations.
For fans of the Lakers, this bodes well, as Reaves’ popularity has grown among them during his two NBA seasons as a former undrafted free agent.
Team USA’s upcoming match against Greece is scheduled for Monday. While winning the World Cup would be an incredible achievement, Reaves has expressed his strong focus on securing an NBA championship with the Lakers.
If his improvement trajectory persists, he undoubtedly has the potential to become a key player in the Lakers’ quest for their next championship — provided they can attain that goal.