Over the recent seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers have been no stranger to drama. This turmoil led to their absence from the postseason in 2021-2022 and nearly repeated itself last season. However, a pivotal change in fortune occurred as the team undertook a complete roster overhaul during the trade deadline, propelling them to an impressive run in the Western Conference Finals. As they embark on the upcoming season, the Lakers find themselves with much to prove and unresolved matters to address.
A crucial factor behind the Lakers’ success towards the end of the previous season was the remarkable growth of guard Austin Reaves. His standout performance elevated him to a legitimate third-option status within the team, deflecting defensive attention away from LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While Reaves may not yet be a superstar, his accomplishments have caught the NBA’s collective eye. A new long-term contract with the Lakers and a spot on Team USA testify to his emerging influence.
However, amidst the excitement, a pertinent question arises: how does Reaves stack up against other guards in the league? The NBA Staff at Bleacher Report has undertaken the task of ranking the top 30 guards in the NBA, and Austin Reaves managed to secure a place on the list. His position, tied at 29th with Chris Paul from the Golden State Warriors, is noteworthy.
Reaves’ ranking places him beneath well-known figures like Derrick White from the Boston Celtics and Tyler Herro from the Miami Heat. This assessment appears modest for a player who has demonstrated the ability to dominate games in ways that these counterparts have yet to achieve. Nonetheless, rankings are mere reflections, and the true testament to Reaves’ capabilities will manifest on the basketball court.
“He’s quickly become a core piece for the Lakers, who hope to improve upon last season’s impressive run. Reaves is a fan favorite in L.A., in part because he plays hard on both ends of the floor but also because he puts up numbers. Those numbers also (mostly) climbed in the postseason to 16.9 PPG, 46.4 FG%, 44.3 3PT% and 89.5 FT%.”
The transformative leap he made during the previous season significantly impacted the Lakers’ offensive strategies, and the team aims to build on that foundation. With the new season on the horizon, Reaves is poised to assume an even more prominent role in orchestrating the team’s gameplay. The success garnered in the playoffs by his increased involvement is undeniable.
As the forthcoming season unfolds, the Lakers will increasingly rely on Reaves, entrusting him with greater responsibilities. Evidently eager to embrace this challenge, Reaves’ work ethic has been instrumental in propelling him to this juncture. His dedication and drive are poised to be the driving forces that propel him to the next level of his career.