Lakers Find Next Alex Caruso in Latest Young Sensation

Published 10/26/2021, 9:30 AM EDT
Oct 22, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) in the second half at Staples Center. The Suns defeated the Lakers 115-105. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers look like they’re finally turning a corner after their victory against the Memphis Grizzlies. Of course, it had a lot to do with Carmelo Anthony putting up his vintage performance, but if it weren’t for role players like Austin Reaves and even Malik Monk’s incredible contribution in the first half, the story could have ended quite differently.

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Reaves has caught everyone’s attention in a very short span of time, and it’s crazy how him winning Frank Vogel’s trust is very similar to the way Alex Caruso did.

Austin Reaves finding his way to the Lakers rotation just like Alex Caruso

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There might be a ton of memes about Alex Caruso during his time with the Lakers. But he was still a fan favorite, and it seems like Reaves might be getting to the same place. Everybody is aware that Austin Reaves refused to be a part of the 2021 NBA Draft, simply because he wanted to bag a two-way deal with the Lakers. In fact, he even turned down an offer from the Detroit Pistons to play there.

His journey since then has been incredible, and he now has a guaranteed spot in a very experienced Lakers roster. The reason this was possible was that he slowly and subtly charmed the entire organization, even his teammates. And now, the purple and gold have themselves a loyal and more talented role player amongst them.

However, something about his journey so far struck a chord. It felt a lot like the way Alex Caruso won hearts and Frank Vogel’s trust when he became a part of the Lakers. Sam Quinn pointed it out most articulately. In the first game, he was DNP, the next time he found himself playing in the second half. Finally, in game 3, he was already a part of the rotation.

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Will he be able to carry on this performance the rest of the season?

Let’s not forget that the Lakers have a 2-1 score so far. The entire season is left and fans aren’t happy with the way things have started out for this super team. Reaves, of course, is turning out to be a big surprise element. But only if he keeps up his contribution can one say for sure that he fits right in with their veteran-laden team.

Oct 12, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) drives to the basket over Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (22) during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Till then, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Carmelo should have it under control. If they don’t figure out a way to keep getting wins, leading to another humiliating season, LBJ will have to bear the brunt of it the most.

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Yashima Bhatia

1736 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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