Austin Reaves has been a standout for the Lakers this season and the franchise is in a pickle because he enters restricted free agency over the summer.
Reaves was a former undrafted, two-way contract player who has stepped up in big moments to become LA’s third best player behind LeBron and AD.
The shooting guard averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds and shot 44.3 percent from beyond the arc throughout the postseason.
There have been recent reports that he could fetch well upwards of $50 million as a restricted free agent.
Now, three teams have been named as legitimate suitors for the 24-year-old, according to B/R’s Greg Swartz.
“This offer could come from a number of young teams with cap space that need a do-it-all combo guard, a list that includes the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs,” he wrote.
Kelly Iko of The Athletic also reported this week that Reaves is on the Rockets’ shortlist.
“Outside of Harden, other high-ranking targets for Houston include Brook Lopez, Dillon Brooks and restricted free agents Cam Johnson and Austin Reaves, league sources said,” Iko said.
If Houston did become the landing spot for Reaves, he would instantly jell with the young core and be an elite ball handler to compliment Jalen Green.
Despite all the rumors swirling, Reaves has made it known multiple times that he’d like to remain a Laker.
He drove the point home in his exit interview.
“I wanna be here,” Reaves said. “This feels like home to me in a sense. Obviously this is a lot different than my actual home. It’s a little bigger, a lot more people, worse traffic. But I told somebody a couple months ago that it feels like a home for me basically.
“The way the fans support me, the players, coaching staff, front office. This is definitely somewhere I wanna be, but we’ll see what happens.”
In all likelihood, Reaves will sign an offer sheet for a contract above $50 million with a rival team but the Lakers will match it.
With so much uncertainty around for the purple and gold, bringing back a cult favorite would be a big win for Lakers fans.