The Los Angeles Lakers had a solid yet relatively uneventful 2023 NBA Draft. They drafted 6'6″ guard Jalen Hood-Schifino with the 17th overall pick in the draft, and then they traded up from the 47th pick to the 40th pick and selected Pepperdine forward Maxwell Lewis.

But a recent rumor revealed that there's an Austin Reaves reason why the Lakers selected Jalen Hood-Schifino in the 2023 NBA Draft, per a tweet from Lakers Nation's official Twitter account:

“Lakers drafted Jalen Hood-Schifino as a potential replacement for Austin Reaves should he receive a big offer in restricted free agency, league sources told Lakers Nation.”

Austin Reaves, 25, has played two years in the NBA, both as a member of the storied Los Angeles Lakers franchise. He averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, 1.5 turnovers, and 1.7 personal fouls per game across 64 appearances this season (22 starts).

The former Oklahoma star shot the ball with excellent efficiency from behind the three-point arc in the 2022-23 campaign. Reaves' 39.8% three-point percentage was the highest of his pro career by a wide margin.

Considering Reaves is only 25, plus the fact that he played the best basketball of his career during Los Angeles' playoff run, it's likely that multiple teams will be interested in signing him in free agency this summer. One destination that would make a lot of sense for Reaves is the Indiana Pacers, as a backcourt of Tyrese Haliburton and Benn Mathurin, with Reaves as the first guard off the bench, could be one of the league's best backcourt rotations for years to come. But let's hope that the Lakers will be able to retain Reaves.