As Austin Reaves enters free agency, he made clear he wants to stay in Los Angeles: ‘This feels like home’ – Basketball Insiders
Now that Austin Reaves is entering free agency, rumors are surrounding the Lakers camp suggesting that many NBA franchises are after the rising star. However, the 24-year-old is the first to say that he has no intention of moving out of Los Angeles, and he would love to stay with the team.
The second-year wing’s breakout postseason run seems to have confirmed that he is the player that the purple and gold need in their roster to return to glory. Every single contribution he made only solidified that he’s worthy of an expensive new contract.
Austin Reaves on his future with the Lakers:
“I want to be here. It feels like home.” pic.twitter.com/ZE6dmJk3by
— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) May 23, 2023
This means that the only issue that could keep Reaves apart is if he doesn’t agree to a deal with the Lakers, which should be around $50 million. However, another team might consider offering the sophomore a contract close to $90 million.
During his exit-interview on Tuesday, he was clear in his intentions to stay with the club that stood by and gave him the opportunity to shine in the NBA.
“I want to be here,” Reaves admitted. “This feels like home to me, in a sense. Obviously, it’s a lot different than my actual home. It’s a little bigger, a lot more people, worse traffic. But, I told somebody a couple months ago it feels like a home for me. The way the fans support me, the players, coaching staff, front office, this is definitely somewhere I want to be. But, we’ll see what happens.”
According to the 24-year-old, money won’t be a problem for him.
“I will have a membership at a golf course and that’s probably it, honestly,” Reaves joked around. “I’m not really into cars, fashion. Whatever my family needs, I’ll get. Family is No. 1, golf a very close second.”
According to reports many teams are after Reaves, but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says there’s no way Lakers will let him walk
The Houston Rockets are one of the teams reported to be eyeing Austin Reaves for the following season. He was especially impressive after averaging 16.9 points per match after 16 postseason contests with the Lakers, helping them reach the Conference Finals.
However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is pretty sure that the Los Angeles management won’t let him go that easy.
“There’s no way they’re letting him walk,” the NBA insider said during his “Hoop Collective” podcast this past Sunday. “Because they absolutely had egg dripping from their chin on letting Alex Caruso walk. And Reaves, let’s just be honest, he’s their third-best player.”
Take a look at Reaves full exit interview after the Nuggets swept the Lakers in Game 4 of the West’s Finals:
Not too long ago, the 24-year-old made headlines as Minnesota Timberwolves veteran Austin Rivers made a bold claim saying that the Lakers rising star wasn’t as good as he seemed to be.
“I love Austin Reaves, I love his talent. His best skill is how aggressive he is as a player. He’s aggressive every time he gets the ball, he’s in attack mode all the time,” he started out. “His skill level is not the same as Jordan Poole’s, it’s not even in the same realm, it’s not. I don’t know if you’ve seen the sh*t that Jordan Poole does.”
Rivers created a wave of reactions after his comments, mostly noting how Reaves dominated Poole’s Golden State in the Conference’s semifinal stage between the Californian franchises.