The Los Angeles Lakers have announced a bit of a surprising move, signing Austin Reaves to a two-year deal that starts with this upcoming 2021-22 season. Reaves signed a two-way deal with the Lakers after not getting drafted and playing with the team during the 2021 Las Vegas Summer League.
Shams Charania of The Athletic had the initial report:
Second year on Austin Reaves’ deal will be a team option, sources said. Lakers have had success developing unheralded players such as Talen Horton-Tucker and Alex Caruso and view Reaves — a 6-foot-5 guard — in a similar mold. https://t.co/i1IMRiAOg1
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 26, 2021
Charania also goes further, stating that the second year will be a team option. Reaves was already slated to be a Laker this season through the two-way deal he signed as an undrafted free agent out of the 2021 NBA Draft.
This now makes Austin Reaves the 14th player on the Lakers’ roster with only one spot left remaining. This also opens up a two-way contract available to the Lakers to use on a player. The team might look back to their Las Vegas Summer League roster to replace that two-way spot. That might mean the return of fan-favorite Mac McClung who received a training camp invite from the Lakers.
This may be the final piece to the Lakers’ full roster before the season starts. Although they have a final 15th roster spot that they could give to a player, Rob Pelinka stated only a couple of days ago that the team would “most likely” keep that 15th spot open to start the season (h/t Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll).
The move is a little questionable considering the fact that Reaves is not only a rookie, but an undrafted rookie at that. In addition, there are other NBA veterans out there that they Lakers could have taken a look at including James Ennis who played with the Orlando Magic the past two seasons. It was even reported that Ennis worked out with the Lakers this past week.
The Lakers could still surprise us and sign one other player, but that seems to be unlikely. Either way, shout out to Reaves for going from an undrafted rookie to a full NBA contract in his first season!