The Crazy Reason Behind Austin Reaves Joining the Los Angeles Lakers as an Undrafted Free Agent

Published 08/01/2021, 11:52 PM EDT


The Los Angeles Lakers seem to have made it a habit to be in the news. First, they pulled off a blockbuster trade and acquired All-Star, Russell Westbrook. Now, they have made it to the reports again. However, this time, it is for a different reason altogether.

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While the Lakers did not have any memorable draft picks, they signed an undrafted player instead. Surprisingly, he did not declare for the draft and the Lakers signed him right away. Or at least that’s how it seemed until now, but recent reports suggest a completely new story.

Jun 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3), forward LeBron James (23) and coach Frank Vogel react in the second half during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Reaves decided to go undrafted for the Lakers

Most of the times, an organization takes a chance on undrafted players. Some pay off while the other don’t. However, the case with Austin Reaves is totally different. While other players allow draft night to write their destiny, Reaves took it in his own hands.

May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to The Athletic, Austin decided not to declare for the draft so that he could sign with the Lakers. He wanted to determine his own fate.

However, Reaves would have been an attractive choice for the draft. As a senior, he averaged a career-high 18.3 points. He is a shifty player who attacks the rim to score. In addition, his midrange game is one to watch.

Reaves is also a great passer of the ball. Attending Oklahoma State, he averaged 4 assists to go with his scoring ability. It was surprising to see how such a player did not declare for the draft. But, now with the story clear, it all makes sense.

Do you agree with what Reaves did?

Can Austin Reaves help LA?

With all the stats to his name, Austin Reaves is surely a player to watch. He has the ability to generate and also put up points on his own. However, does he solve the Lakers’ on-going problems?

Looking at how the Lakers are shaped, LeBron needs a perimeter shooter. However, Reaves does not solve that problem as he shot 30% from three. Another issue is the Lakers’ offense going stagnant. Now, here is where Austin thrives as he can pass the ball even from a live dribble.

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May 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Toronto Raptors forward Freddie Gillespie (55) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Moreover, he also provides the Lakers’ with a reliable scoring option. However, most important is his free throw shooting. Austin shot 86% for Oklahoma this season. This is big news for the Lakers as they need a good free throw shooter.

To sum it up, Reaves can definitely fit in to the LA system and help them win.

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Anuj Talwalkar

268 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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