Spurs Considered Lucrative Offer Sheet For Austin Reaves

Lakers guard Austin Reaves revealed in a recent interview that the Spurs and Rockets were among his potential options in free agency before he reached a deal to remain in Los Angeles.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype has since provided more details on those what-if scenarios, citing league sources who say San Antonio considered an offer sheet for Reaves that would have been worth $21MM per season.

However, according to Scotto, the Spurs were concerned that the Lakers would simply match their offer sheet and that they might miss out on other opportunities to use their cap room while they awaited L.A.’s decision. The Lakers wouldn’t have had to officially match an offer sheet for Reaves until the end of the day on July 7 and could have tied up San Antonio’s space in the meantime.

As for the Rockets, they were “closely monitoring” Reaves and were prepared to put together a lucrative offer sheet if they had failed to land top target Fred VanVleet, sources tell Scotto. When VanVleet agreed to a three-year, maximum-salary deal with Houston, the team didn’t see the need to spend big on another backcourt player.

Reaves’ restricted free agency was an uncommon case, since he had accumulated just two years of NBA experience and was therefore subject to the Gilbert Arenas provision.

Although the Lakers could only offer Reaves about $53.8MM over four years using his Early Bird rights, the Arenas provision allowed a rival team with cap room to give him a bigger, back-loaded offer sheet worth up to nearly $102MM over four years — the Lakers would have had the right to match any offer sheet despite not being able to offer Reaves that much money directly.

Ultimately, no rival suitors decided to aggressively pursue Reaves, allowing the Lakers to bring him back on his maximum Early Bird deal, worth $53.8MM across four seasons. Following a breakout season in which he averaged 13.0 points, 3.4 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game with an excellent .529/.398/.864 shooting line, the 25-year-old may turn out to be a bargain at that price.

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