Lakers SG Austin Reaves expects to demand lucrative 4-years $50M contract this offseason as a restricted free agent

The Los Angeles Lakers are facing a familiar dilemma with Austin Reaves. On one hand, he has become a valuable addition to their team and a testament to their scouting department’s success this season. On the other hand, his upcoming free agency has put the Lakers in a bind financially. Although he is a restricted free agent, meaning the Lakers have the option to match any offer he receives, his success has driven up his value.

Restricted free agency also limits the Lakers’ ability to offer Reaves a contract, as they can only offer him an early-bird max contract for four years. This offer is equivalent to 105 percent of the average NBA salary and amounts to $50 million over four years. Meanwhile, other teams are not restricted in the same way and could offer him $80 million over the same timeframe.

The Gilbert Arenas provision, which allows the Lakers to offer Reaves as much money as other teams, provides an alternative. However, this would require offering him a maximum deal in years three and four of his contract, which is risky given the uncertainty of the Lakers’ future cap situation and Reaves’ limited track record.

As a result, the Lakers face a difficult decision regarding Reaves’ future with the team. They must weigh his current performance and potential against their financial flexibility and long-term plans. The situation highlights the challenges that teams face in balancing success on the court with financial prudence. While the Lakers may be tempted to keep Reaves, they must carefully consider the risks and rewards of doing so.

Undrafted Guard Austin Reaves Surpasses Expectations, Scores Career-High 35 Points to Lead Lakers to Victory

Undrafted second-year reserve guard Austin Reaves led the Los Angeles Lakers to victory against the Orlando Magic with a career-high 35 points, including scoring the Lakers’ last 10 points during the final 93 seconds of the game. Reaves has become an essential part of Los Angeles’ rotation and has surpassed expectations as an unsung prospect from rural Arkansas.

Austin Reaves

He hopes to help the Lakers into the playoffs this summer and is in line for a significant pay raise in free agency. Reaves regularly ends up bruised or bloodied after games due to his physical approach to defense and his penchant for drawing fouls.

He has studied how James Harden and Trae Young draw fouls and attempted to incorporate their strategies into his game. The Lakers can match any contract offer given to Reaves, and it’s clear how their superstars feel about him: James cheered for Reaves’ big finish from the bench before tweeting about Reaves postgame.

Tahsin Tahmid

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Tahsin Tahmid is a part of the editorial panel of Sports Zion. As a sports and art-loving person, he has the vision to provide authentic information. Being an optimist, he hopes to bring the world closer by spreading love. The NFL is Tahmid's favorite league, and following it, he is a massive fan of Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. On the other hand, when it comes to the NBA, Tahsin loves watching LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo perform.


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