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NBA Rumors: Lakers reportedly pick up team option on Austin Reaves

Amidst a season with so much turmoil and disappointment, Austin Reaves shined through as one of the brightest surprises. It comes with little surprise, then, that the Lakers will reportedly picked up Reaves team option for the 2022-23 season, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

As noted by Buha, the team will also be reportedly picking up team options for Stanley Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel as well with the deadline for all three being Wednesday.

Despite being an undrafted rookie, Reaves worked his way up from a two-way contract to a guaranteed NBA deal before the season even started last fall. As things progressed, Reaves’ role increased into the season as he became a consistent role player and by season’s end, he recorded a historic triple-double.

On the year as a whole, Reaves averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 23.2 minutes per game across 61 games. He shot 45.9% from the field and 31.7% from the 3-point line.

His play was strong enough to earn him some votes for the All-Rookie teams after the season, an impressive feat for an undrafted player. For the Lakers, he’s more than earned a spot as a role player moving forward, even if the ideal 2022-23 roster is vastly improved from last year’s.

Reaves’ ability to be a jack-of-all-trades and play in multiple roles on the court makes him a particularly valuable player to a Lakers team with few players on the roster. What makes him most valuable, though, is the $1.5 million he’ll make this upcoming season while being that productive player.

This offseason, Reaves vowed to work on improving his 3-point shot, which was particularly streaky during the season and one of his biggest weaknesses. In his first 17 games played, Reaves shot 39% from the arc on 2.4 attempts per game. Over his next 25 games, he shot 23.8% from range on the same number of attempts. He ended the year by splitting the difference, shooting 34.9% on long-range efforts.

If he can make those improvements and continue being his typically productive self as a glue guy, then he could take an even greater step forward and be an even bigger contributor this season.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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