Austin Reaves went into free agency hoping to re-sign with the Lakers, but he considered both the Rockets and Spurs before the process began. Reaves explained his approach in an appearance on Showtime’s “All the Smoke” with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson (video link).
“I really wanted to be in L.A. the whole time,” Reaves said. “There were a couple of situations that were close, but like I said, I really wanted to be in L.A. L.A. feels like home to me so that’s really where I wanted to be.”
Reaves was a restricted free agent, and the Lakers were limited to an offer of about $54MM over four years with his Early Bird rights. Because of the Arenas provision, L.A. would have been able to match a larger offer sheet from another team, and both Houston and San Antonio had enough cap room to give Reaves a contract that could have made it a tough decision. Both teams decided to spend their money in other areas, so L.A. was able to keep the 25-year-old shooting guard at a relative bargain price.
There’s more on the Lakers:
- In the same interview (video link), Reaves discusses Russell Westbrook, who had a stormy tenure with the team before being traded in February. Westbrook became a controversial figure during his time with the Lakers, but Reaves only had good things to say about him. “He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” Reaves said. “As a person, you can’t get much better. … He was always empowering everybody to be better and do better and want more.”
- Colin Castleton would love to eventually be promoted from his two-way contract to the 15-man roster, but he told Lakers Nation that he’s more concerned with improving his game and learning as much as possible from his veteran teammates. “I was focused on killing Summer League, and I feel like I did a good job there,” Castleton said. “Now I can focus on getting ready for training camp and put myself in the right mindset so I can have an opportunity later in the year. That’s my mindset.”
- In case you missed it, the Lakers are among several teams with interest in veteran forward Rudy Gay, who was waived by the Thunder on Thursday.