Rookie Austin Reaves gets 1 of Lakers’ 2 open roster spots
The Los Angeles Lakers answered one lingering question ahead of training camp, as they signed rookie Austin Reaves to a two-year contract, thereby filling the 14th spot on the active roster.
The Lakers have one open spot remaining, though various reports and recent comments from vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka indicate that the team will keep it free for a midseason buyout candidate — for luxury tax and flexibility reasons.
Reaves, a 6’5 wing, reportedly turned down the chance to be drafted by another franchise in the second round in order to ink a two-way deal with the Lakers. L.A. hosted Reaves for a private workout in July.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Reaves’ two-way contract will be converted into a standard rookie two-year deal. The second year will be a team option.
Second year on Austin Reaves’ deal will be a team option, sources said. Lakers have had success developing unheralded players such as Talen Horton-Tucker and Alex Caruso and view Reaves — a 6-foot-5 guard — in a similar mold. https://t.co/i1IMRiAOg1
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 26, 2021
Reaves may not see a ton of action for the veteran-laden 2021-22 roster with championship aspirations. But, as Shams notes, the Lakers are hoping Reaves can replicate the developmental success of Talen Horton-Tucker and Alex Caruso.
The 23-year old averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game with .443/.305/.865 shooting splits for the Oklahoma Sooners in 2020-21, earning All-Big 12 honors. Reaves spent his first two collegiate seasons at Wichita State.
In Summer League, Reaves averaged 7.0 PPG on 29.5% shooting, but displayed a nice all-around feel for the offense and produced one of the highlights of the tournament.
AUSTIN REAVES WITH THE GAME-WINNING PUTBACK 😤 pic.twitter.com/Y0Z03iGjsn
— ESPN (@espn) August 9, 2021
This boy Austin Reaves is CONFIDENT pic.twitter.com/zdF2gyXYHx
— Nicole Ganglani (@nicoleganglani) August 14, 2021
Devontae Cacok and Austin Reaves are in attack mode 👊 pic.twitter.com/av45HnCgp2
Joel Ayayi remains on a two-way contract, and the Lakers now have one more available to hand out. Fellow rookies Mac McClung and Chaundee Brown Jr. have been invited to training camp.
Veteran 3-and-D wing James Ennis worked out for the Lakers last week, hoping to earn the 14th spot. Per the NBA’s minimum scale, signing a rookie instead of a veteran is a cheaper option, hence the decision to sign Austin Reaves.