One of LA’s most pleasant surprises also owns one of its most cost-efficient deals on the books — check out the numbers behind the Lakers’ Austin Reaves contract.
Facing the real possibility of missing the postseason in 2022-23, GM Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles Lakers were aggressive ahead of the NBA trade deadline, adding pieces like D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura to help the team move the needle and put itself back into position for a postseason run.
As the games started to matter more, however, one of the most intriguing wild cards for the Lake Show turned out not to be a new acquisition, but an unsung Oklahoma Sooner who first showed up in the fall of 2021 as a rookie on a humble two-way contract. An efficient shooter whose minute-for-minute contributions to all corners of the stat sheet strongly belie his status as an undrafted player, the Arkansas-born two-guard has gradually become more than simply a fan favorite at Crypto.com Arena.
Given the modest nature of his entry into the NBA, however, it means his contributions come at an attractively low cost to Jeanie Buss and Co.
With that in mind, take a closer look at the numbers behind the Lakers’ Austin Reaves contract.
Austin Reaves Contract Details & Salary
All dollar figures via Spotrac.
Total value: $2,488,776
Average annual value: $1,244,388
Guaranteed at signing: $100,000
Free agency: 2023 (restricted)
2022-23 salary: $1,563,518
If your goal is to secure open jumpers, there’s nothing quite like playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, whose collective gravity resembles that of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Reaves hasn’t fumbled the opportunity, making 52% of his field goals and 38.3% from downtown during the 2022-23 regular season — the kind of efficiency that gets you paid in this league.
When he reaches restricted free agency this summer, the Lakers will reserve the right to match any outside offer sheet from a rival team in order to keep Reaves around.
Not a bad career arc so far from a kid who started just 11 games in two seasons for Wichita State before packing his bags for Norman.
Austin Reaves’ Career Earnings
Salary data via Spotrac.
NBA SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2021-22: $925,258
ESTIMATED SALARY EARNINGS THRU 202-23: $2,488,776
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