When the Los Angeles Lakers picked Austin Reaves as an undrafted rookie this summer, expectations for him were low.
He started off on a two-way street and reportedly spent time developing with the South Bay Lakers, the Los Angeles G League affiliate. However, the Lakers promoted Reaves early in the season and gave him a spot on the 15-man roster.
Through 23 games – he missed time with a hamstring injury and being in health and safety protocol – Reaves has always been a good basketball player on both ends of the court.
He’s averaging 6.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 20.6 minutes per game with a shooting distribution of 53.1 / 38.6 / 88. His performance, including a game-winning game against the Dallas Mavericks, led the Lakers to secure his contract for the remainder of the season.
After Reaves lost 19 points on 7 of 10 shots overall and 4 of 7 from depth to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, Skip Bayless gave his take on how Reaves played:
Right now, the Lakers’ second-best overall player is… Austin Reaves, the undrafted rookie. Seriously. He makes good things happen on both sides with his fearless determination.
– Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 13, 2022
With LeBron James probably No. 1 for Skip, he ranks Reaves higher than Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
Of course, this ranking is questionable. But if Reaves made anything clear during his playing time, it’s that he needs to play as much as possible. He makes winning games.
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