Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to get traction during the preseason ahead of the regular season that starts on Oct.19. Vogel has experimented with different schemes that include several end-of-bench players, like Austin Reaves.
The undrafted rookie free agent out of Oklahoma was originally given a two-way contract, but it was converted to a standard NBA deal after LeBron James’ Las Vegas minicamp with the team.
In the Lakers’ loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday, Reaves put up nine points and two steals on 3-of-4 shooting, showing he belongs to the NBA floor.
“He’s got great instincts for the game and when he’s making shots like he did tonight, he contributes to winning basketball,” said Lakers’ head coach Frank Vogel.
“He wins possessions on both sides of the ball. Just great defensive instincts to be in the right place at the right time, to compete and really fight and obviously, he’s very versatile offensively.
He can play with the ball in his hands and create and make the right reads, he knows how to cut, knows how to space, and obviously like we said, if he’s making shots like he did tonight, then he’s a hell of a player.”
Reaves could find some playtime at the start of the season, as the Lakers will be missing Trevor Ariza for at least eight weeks. If the rookie can prove himself in those games, he may retain a rotational role for the Lakers this year.