Lakers will match Austin Reaves offer sheet of up to $100 million

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Austin Reaves emerged this season as not only a very good NBA player for the Los Angeles Lakers but an indispensable one.

He shined brightly in his first postseason appearance, and everyone agrees that for them to have a real shot at their 18th world championship anytime soon, they must retain him.

Reaves will be a restricted free agent this summer, and there is some anxiety the Lakers may not end up keeping him, as they’re constrained by an ever more restrictive salary cap. In addition, ownership doesn’t have the deep pockets that some other teams possess.

But Jovan Buha of The Athletic says that Los Angeles will match any offer sheet Reaves receives up to $100 million (h/t Lakers Daily).

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Via HoopsHype:

“The Lakers are going to match any contract offer sheet that he signs up to that $100 million,” Buha said on a podcast with Michael Scotto. “The Lakers view him as the third-best player on this team if you look at the regular season and postseason he had. He stepped up big time and was basically an 18-5-5 guy with near 50-40-90 shooting splits as a starter for them. There were several factors as to why the Lakers made that second half run, but chief among them — and maybe the biggest factor overall — was Reaves’ ascension.”

The undrafted guard averaged 13.0 points a game in the regular season, and he increased that figure in the playoffs to 16.9 points per contest while shooting an outstanding 44.3 percent from 3-point range.

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Which teams could be vying for Reaves’ services

The Houston Rockets are rebuilding and are expected to have lots of cap space this summer. They could make a big offer for Reaves, as could the Orlando Magic.

But according to Buha, one team the Lakers and their fans should be concerned about as far as taking Reaves away is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are about to draft French phenom Victor Wembanyama, and they would love to restart their championship tradition by quickly building a strong team around him.

“I’ve heard that there are going to be multiple suitors out there in talking with people around the league,” Buha said. “You mentioned Orlando and Houston. I’ve heard San Antonio could be a dark horse team that will try to poach Austin from the Lakers.”

Some feel Spurs head coach and executive Gregg Popovich would love to stick it to the Lakers, his team’s old rivals, by depriving them of Reaves.

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Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

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