Reaves, heading to 100 million

Austin Reaves is a good basketball player. A very good player. Following the renewal of the Lakers’ rotation (with the departure of Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley), the guard from Arkansas (24 years old) became a starter and definitely in the Lakers. And to play more with the ball in the hands, more base and less shooting guard. In March his averages rose to 17.4 points and almost 6 assists with 55% shooting and almost 38% 3-pointers. In regular season games in April, as the Lakers raced to salvage their season, climbed to 20 points and 5.4 assists on 61% total shooting, 52% 3-pointers and 90% from the foul line.

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It’s good. As much as some have only wanted to see the meme of the redneck kobe, just as in their day they only saw the excesses that were committed on social networks when Alex Caruso began to stand out. The oversize that implies everything that surrounds the Lakers has an effect … in both directions. Also for some to underestimate excellent players that the Angelenos rescue from low draft positions, or directly beyond 60 picks. The Reaves case reached format boom in his first game in the playoffs: 23 points, 14 in the last quarter and nine in a row, with the ball in his hands in the hot moments of his team’s tremendous victory, which stole home court at the first change in Memphis.

Reaves ‘skipped’ the 2021 draft. After playing at Wichita State and Oklahoma, some franchises scouted him for the last positions of their course and the, who had spoken with the Lakers, preferred to get out of that lane and sign with the Angelenos as an undrafted player. in august as two wayalready at the end of September with an NBA contract standard. As Rob Pelinka has done, the big shot of the franchise in the offices, on other occasions, a minimum of two seasons was chosen and only 2.4 million in total. A bargain Which, of course, complicates things if the player, as is the case, plays well above that level. way, way above. This summer, Reaves will be a restricted free agent (the qualifying that the Lakers have to give him is 2.1 million) and he will be able to go on the market with, yes, Angelenos’ right to match offers.

In the Lakers fans it is still remembered how a similar situation ended with the departure of Alex Caruso, who went to the Chicago Bulls. But now the Lakers are supposed to have chastened. The Caruso case is fresh, and there are others that show that you have to take a good look at who you let go. They just suffered it in their flesh, for example, the Mavericks with Jalen Brunsonwho has played at a star level for the Knicks (and continues to do so in the playoffs) while the Texans lived their vaunted Annus horribilis. Pelinka could sign these players who haven’t come out since the first round of the draft with a share of the midlevel exceptionbut opt for minimum contracts and that complicates things because it allows less margin when facing a renewal. The new agreement that has been agreed will enable an exception to sign the players chosen in the second round beyond the salary cap of the team, the same as it is done with the first class. But this won’t affect Reaves because of his undrafted status.

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Since Reaves has been with the team for two years, the Lakers have their early bird rigths. That means they can offer you to renew directly a four-year high of $51 million, with about $14.1 million last season. This is calculated from 175% more than his current salary or 105% of the NBA average in the previous season. In any case, a possible contract that has clearly fallen short for the player’s merits, and more so in a scenario that sees greater increases in the chap (which will also be structured by the new agreement to avoid distortions) as the new television contract approaches.

The problem, of course, is that other teams do not have that limitation, when it comes to tempting Reaves, of the maximum for early bird rights that he could catch the Lakers. If they come from teams with a salary margin, those offers can reach almost 99 million for those four years.. The difference is obvious with what, initially, they can give him in LA But there is a loophole for the Angelenos, who could match that offer and keep Reaves thanks to what is known as the Gilbert Arenas Provision.

Gilbert Arenas was chosen by the Warriors with the number 31 of the 2001 draft. That is, already in the second round and outside the scale established for the rookie contracts from the first. In his second season (2002-03) he averaged 18.3 points per night. A second-round pick, he had signed a two-year contract with the Warriors and was a restricted free agent that summer (2003). The Warriors were limited by their rights bird rights and the Wizards took advantage of it: they gave the guard about 65 million for six years, an offer that in practice the Warriors could not match. The reaction of the League came in the following agreement: that was created sand provision which happened, basically, to allow teams to retain their players by matching an offer like that. Of course, in the first year you cannot go beyond the amount allocated to the midlevel exception for teams that do not pay luxury tax. In the second, the increase can only be 5% from that first amount. But in the last two you can jump to maximum amounts.

In this way, Reaves (the Lakers would have to adjust the cap space to make it possible) they would reach those 98.6 million in four years with these amounts per season: 11.3, 11.9, 36.8 and 38.5. The Angelenos also have to make decisions that affect the future of other players, most importantly D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura. But the continuity of Reaves seems a clear priority, although a franchise with a salary margin could launch a very high offer to try to make the Lakers have a hard time matching it. Although it seems clear that, this time, they will do everything possible to do so. And that Reaves will not be a new Caruso.

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