Rob Pelinka continued with the great job done in February by making more moves this offseason, aiming to build a team that can help The King win his second ring in LA.
It took some time, since the front office made many mistakes in the roster building before it could set up a team that can aspire to succeed. But it was also lucky it didn’t lose an important player in the open market.
Austin Reaves revealed he came close to two other teams before the Lakers
In an appearance on on ‘ALL THE SMOKE’ with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Austin Reaves revealed the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs came close to signing him as a free agent, but that his desire has always been to stay in Los Angeles:
“I really wanted to be in LA the whole time. There were a couple situations that were close, but like I said I really wanted to be in LA. LA feels like home to me so that’s really where I wanted to be.”
Austin Reaves says he turned down Pistons in 2021 to join the Lakers
“It feels great. Like I said everything comes full circle and all I needed was an opportunity and I knew that. I knew what I was capable of doing. You know the skillset, the IQ, stuff like that. So it was really just about my agency putting me in a good position to have all of that. We could’ve got drafted 42nd to Detroit but kind of declined that to kind of put me in LA for a better spot,” Reaves said about going undrafted in 2021, via Lakers Nation.
“So basically, we tiered teams, best fit for me. And L.A. was I think two on the list at the time, Milwaukee might have been one, but they were Tier 1… It was, like I said, really trying to put me in a position to be able to get a roster spot. We knew that there was a high interest for a two-way so we didn’t really have to press. That’s what everything in the draft would’ve been from 42 and on would’ve been basically a two-way agreement. So we didn’t have to press and I didn’t really have to hear my name called either. Obviously I wanted to, but it was all about playing the long game.”
Reaves had a breakout season in 2022-23, earning a four-year, $53 million contract extension with the purple and gold. Now, the team hopes he can help LeBron challenge for another championship.