A $50 million, four-year contract for Austin Reaves this summer? Not impossible, especially if he continues to play like Kobe

A $50 million, four-year contract for Austin Reaves this summer? Not impossible, especially if he continues to play like Kobe

In full boom at the moment, Austin Reaves is not only making a real name for himself within the mythical Lakers franchise but above all he is putting himself well in view of future contract negotiations, as he will be a restrictive free agent this summer. 

It's hard to think of a better time to play the best basketball of his career. While the Lakers are fighting to get a place in the Playoffs and LeBron James is currently out of action, sophomore Austin Reaves is playing like never before 35 points scored (career high), including the last ten for his team against the Magic on Sunday, almost 18 points - 3 rebounds - 5 assists on average since the end of February, all this before becoming a free agent in a few months.

50 million dollars over 4 seasons is the maximum amount that the Lakers can offer him based on his current contract. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, it is also around this amount that the market around Reaves should be built this summer, when he will be a free agent. And obviously, we should not rule out a scenario in which a franchise decides to put even more dollars on the table than the annual 12.5 million, which will force the Lakers to make a choice.

Since Austin Reaves will be a restricted free agent, the Lakers will still have control over the matter. No matter what the competition offers, they will have the possibility to keep the undrafted sophomore, who represents a real success story in Los Angeles today. In addition, apart from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, they will not have big contracts in their payroll in the coming seasons. But how far are the Lakers willing to go to keep Reaves in the City of Angels? That is the question.

If we believe Jovan Buha, who covers the California franchise for The Athletic, there is now a mutual interest between the player and the Lakers to extend the adventure this summer. Logical we want to say, but we know that the cards can quickly be reshuffled in the off-season, especially if a franchise offers big money and an important role to Reaves.

"A lot of teams have Reaves in their sights. The Lakers can offer him up to $50 million over four years. In my opinion, we could have a Talen Horton-Tucker contract situation, which suits both sides with a two-year guaranteed contract and a third option.

I think the mid-level exception represents his floor. Other teams won't hesitate to up the ante against the Lakers. Reaves has shown good things as a primary facilitator and good scorer for the second unit."

- Jovan Buha

Remember the situation surrounding Alex Caruso, a Los Angeles darling who eventually signed with the Bulls for $37 million in the summer of 2021 as a free agent. The Lakers have long regretted the loss of the divine bald man, they surely won't want to make the same mistake with the man who is sometimes nicknamed "Hillbilly Kobe."

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