Austin Reaves, a guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, has exceeded expectations while practicing with Team USA in preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned on a podcast that Reaves has garnered significant praise for his performance. This recognition is particularly appreciated by Lakers fans, as Reaves recently signed a four-year contract with the team.
Despite entering the NBA as an undrafted free agent, Reaves rejoined the Lakers through free agency following an impressive 2022-23 season.
In his second NBA season, he showcased his potential as both a bench player and a starter, averaging 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
His shooting percentages also improved, with a 52.9% field goal rate and a 39.8% success rate from beyond the arc. Reaves’ notable progress earned him a spot on Team USA’s roster, where he has been making a strong impression.
Reaves demonstrated his skills with standout plays in Team USA’s recent victory over Greece.
Austin Reaves is too nice 😮💨🔥 pic.twitter.com/ueB1EPo8tV
— The Laker Files (@LakerFiles) August 18, 2023
During the summer, the Lakers guard has displayed his adept passing skills, exemplified by a well-executed assist to Anthony Edwards in a game against Slovenia.
What a pass from Tyrese Haliburton to Austin Reaves. pic.twitter.com/HaSlSLgxpG
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) August 12, 2023
During his rookie season in the 2021-22 campaign, Reaves managed an average of 7.3 points per game. He achieved a shooting percentage of 45.9% from the field and 31.7% from beyond the arc.
His transformation into a vital component of the Lakers’ future and a Team USA member underscores his substantial growth in the past year.
In the previous season, Reaves played a pivotal role in the Lakers’ journey to the Western Conference Finals. His performance elevated notably during the playoffs, complementing LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Throughout the playoffs, Reaves maintained averages of 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game over 16 games. His shooting percentages stood at 46.4% from the field and an impressive 44.3% from 3-point range.
If Reaves sustains this positive trajectory, he’s poised to earn a significantly larger contract when he reaches free agency again.
Thankfully for the Lakers, there are still multiple seasons ahead before they need to address this matter concerning their emerging star guard.