Training camp for the 2023-24 NBA season is slowly but surely approaching, and while there is plenty of time before it begins, it’s time for players to start ramping up their training and preparation.
That’s especially true for the Los Angeles Lakers, who are hoping to win their 18th world championship next summer. They magically remade what was a broken roster in January and February, and now they’re aiming for the sky rather than just trying to tread water.
Austin Reaves played a sizable role in the Lakers’ turnaround. He emerged throughout the season as a stud, and he seemingly got better as time went on. He now has an increasing amount of people believing that he could become an All-Star in the near future.
Working on these three goals could make that prognostication a reality.
Improve as a playmaker
Reaves has become a good 3-point shooter, an excellent free throw shooter and someone who is adept at drawing fouls. He also showed improved poise and command while handling the ball and looking to facilitate for teammates.
Yet he still has room for improvement in that last category. He may not be a fully natural point guard, but he can improve his point guard skills so that he can play such a role when the Lakers need him to.
Reaves recently said he wants to improve as a playmaker, and the Lakers reportedly plan on having him be a playmaker more often this coming season.
Improve on defense
Reaves isn’t a bad defender, but he isn’t a great one either, at least not yet. He can struggle sometimes against certain players, but he is good at drawing charges and he certainly gives 100 percent on that end of the floor.
One thing he can do to become a better defender is add some upper-body muscle. He currently weighs just over 200 pounds, and a little added bulk can help him when he has to guard opposing small forwards.
Reaves is currently playing for Team USA as it gets ready for the FIBA World Cup. That means he will have less sustained rest this summer when it’s all said and done, and in general, people get concerned that players in that situation may be more susceptible to injury during the NBA season.
He did miss about a month of action at midseason due to a hamstring injury. Although he played very well during L.A.’s playoff run to the Western Conference Finals, Reaves did seem fatigued for a stretch of a few games. He temporarily wore a sleeve on his leg during that span, which led to some speculation that he was nursing a nagging ailment.
Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire