In a team that added Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony to the championship duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, one of the nicest surprises of the preseason for the Los Angeles Lakers so far has been the game. from undrafted rookie Austin Reaves.
The Oklahoma goalie showed exactly why the Lakers chose to sign him to a regular contract with the NBA and give him their 14th place on the list, as opposed to a more well-known product.
Initially, Reaves signed a two-way contract with the Lakers after the draft. But after what he did in the Summer League, and after impressing the team during the summer with his appearance in practices around the training center, the team chose to upgrade this contract. He also made a big impression on the team itself at their minicamp in Las Vegas before training camp started and James took note of that.
LeBron said Reaves has shown he can be an NBA-level player, which James believed when he watched the college film of the Young Guard.
âHe’s an NBA player,â LeBron said when asked what Reaves showed in Vegas. âHe can play at this level, play at a high level. I watched a lot of movies about him when we [signed] him in fact. I immediately knew he could be an NBA player at this level. His size, his ability to shoot, his pick-and-roll game, his passes. A kid with a high IQ and he has a lot of dog in him too. This transfers to our game.
It seems that worship is mutual. âHe’s a bull. That’s why he’s the greatest player of all time, âReaves said of James after Wednesday practice.
In 27 minutes against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, Reaves finished with 10 points, three assists and two steals. With many Lakers missing the game due to injury, Reaves had the opportunity to play with all three Lakers superstars and he took advantage of it.
In fact, James, Westbrook and Rajon Rondo could be seen throughout the game looking for Reaves when he was open, showing even more how much he had already built trust with the team. Minutes will always be hard to come by for the Lakers rookie, but LeBron and the rest of the squad clearly believe he has the skills to stay in the league, and the fans are backing him as well.
Reaves talks about the benefits of playing with the Lakers’ Big 3
Getting the chance to play with players like James, Westbrook and Anthony Davis as a rookie in the NBA is truly something no one could ever dream of. Reaves has this opportunity and understands that his role with them on the pitch is easy as they get so much attention and are such willing passers-by.
âThey make the game really easy for the other guys, they’re known for first pass basketball with Russ and LeBron,â Reaves added. âSo they really make it easier, you just have to be in the right place at the right time and knocking down the punches because they’re going to get attention on a nightly basis. So be really ready to take down some open shots in the corner and compete on the other side. “
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