As has been the case almost every offseason during the LeBron James era, the Lakers enter this summer with a lot of decisions to make about their own free agents.
Building their squad around James and Anthony Davis has seen them fill the majority of the roster on short-term contracts, but unlike the past two years there’s reason to be optimistic about the group they closed out with. 2023. After reaching the Western Conference Finals and ending the regular season strong after making a number of changes on schedule, the Lakers made it clear in their exit interviews that they wanted more continuity in the year. next.
To do that, they will have to bid against other teams for some of their best players, including Austin Reaves. Reaves surged this season to become the Lakers’ third player and, more importantly, continued to play at that level in the playoffs. As he enters restricted free agency, other teams could try to get him out of Los Angeles with an offer that would make the Lakers balk.
That will apparently require a massive offer, with The Athletic’s Jovan Buha telling Michael Scotto on the HoopsHype podcast that the Lakers will match a sheet for up to 4 years, $100 million.
The Lakers are going to match any contract offer sheet he signs up to that $100 million.
You mentioned $80 million, and $80-85 million is where teams think the Lakers might need to think about it and maybe call their bluff. Again, from what I’ve heard from the Lakers side, they’re going up to $100 million.
Buha notes that the Lakers learned from Alex Caruso’s situation when they didn’t match the Bulls’ offer sheet and have missed his defensive presence ever since. With Reaves, they seem willing to pay what’s necessary to retain him, but that certainly comes with the caveat that it’s very beneficial for the Lakers to let it be known publicly that teams shouldn’t even consider making an offer. less than $100 million.
This increases the likelihood that they can get Reaves at a discount if he doesn’t have much of a market elsewhere – as often happens with restricted free agents. Still, there are a handful of teams with plenty of cap space this summer and a need for a two-way guard with Reaves’ abilities, and we’ll see if they want to call the LA bluff and make a offers in that $80+ million – or completely exceed that $100 million figure.