NBA Rumors: Will Austin Reaves get a bigger contract than Alex Caruso?

NBA Rumors: Will Austin Reaves get a bigger contract than Alex Caruso?

If the Lakers have done one thing exceptionally well over the last decade, regardless of the results on the court, it’s seek out and find hidden gems. More specifically, they have made a habit of finding key rotation players outside of the first round of the draft.

Even for all the roster turnover in recent seasons, the Lakers’ roster contains a pair of second-round picks in Thomas Bryant and Max Christie and an undrafted signee in Austin Reaves. It is the last player who has attracted a lot of attention this season.

Reaves had a solid rookie season in the league and has followed that up with offseason work in a second season in which he has been one of the team’s best players. But in what has become a bit of a recurring issue for the Lakers, Reaves is set for restricted free agency this summer.

It’s been the quiet hum in the background of Reaves’ breakout season. It will be set for a late-season payday and given the Lakers’ reluctance to pay for players — like Alex Caruso — and go deeper into the luxury tax if a competitive offer is made — as it was with Alex Caruso — then there might be some concern that he might walk at the end of the season…like Alex Caruso did.

In a recent episode of Late Night Lake Show podcast, Jovan Buha i Athletics offered a behind-the-scenes look at what free agency could bring for Reaves and the Lakers.

“From what I’ve heard of it, it’s going to be more than Caruso’s money, that’s for sure. It will be in double digits.”

For reference, the deal Caruso signed with the Bulls was a 4-year, $36,980,000 contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $9.25 million per year. The “double digit” part likely means it will be at least $10 million.

Now, before the panic sets in, it would be very, very unlikely that the Lakers would lose him this summer due to the Gilbert Arenas rule. Put simply, the Arenas rule limits how much an opposing team can offer a non-first-round pick in free agency, helping teams keep players they drafted or signed as undrafted free agents without a higher offer being made. great.

It’s the same rule that helped keep players like Talen Horton-Tucker and Jordan Clarkson in Los Angeles for their first contracts. THT’s contract was a three-year deal worth just over $30 million, while Clarkson’s deal in 2016 was a four-year deal worth just over $50 million.

This looks like the general range of what Reaves’ deal could look like, landing somewhere in the AAV between THT and Clarkson. And if that’s the range, I’d imagine the Lakers would sign up for that given how much of an impact he’s been on this team.

The important note is that the Lakers are in complete control of whether he stays with the team and the only way they won’t bring him back is if they simply don’t want him on the team completely and won’t even make a halfway competitive offer . And even that seems like a low bar for this Lakers front office.

For more Lakers chat, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed iTunes, Spotify, Sewing machine or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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