The recent surge in production by this player has netted him some surprising valuations for free agency by a Utah Jazz writer.
With the Utah Jazz eliminated from this year’s postseason, writers and those surrounding the team have been able to pivot some of their focus to the playoffs and the players playing in it. One of those reporters is Salt Lake Tribune insider, Andy Larsen.
Larsen also found himself in the news again recently due to his controversial NBA award votes. One of those votes he cast was a Rookie of the Year vote given to the Jazz’s own Walker Kessler, coming off to many NBA fans as a sign of some voter bias.
This time, Larsen decided to take to Twitter to discuss the impending free agency of Lakers’ guard, Austin Reaves.
Reaves has now gone from an undrafted free agent in 2021 to being almost a tertiary option for LeBron and the Lakers. Now, he’s predicted to earn about $100 million in July’s free agency.
If Utah Jazz insider Andy Larsen’s bold evaluation is accurate, it would be a big mistake to pay Lakers’ Austin Reaves big money.
I’ll give credit where it’s due. Austin Reaves has had a significant and surprising jump in year two. He’s averaging 13 points, 3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists on some efficient shooting splits of about 53/40/86. While what he has been able to produce for the Lakers this season has been extremely valuable for them, paying him $100 million over the next four years could be a major mistake.
Here are some of the most recent deals around the league that have been around the same value as Reaves does here:
– Anfernee Simons, Portland ($100m/4)
– Nikola Vucevic, Chicago ($100m/4)
– Jalen Brunson, New York ($104m/4)
– Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis ($106m/4)
Unless you consider Reaves to currently be, or be able to develop into the same quality player as these guys, he’s not worth this kind of money. Even for a team like the Utah Jazz who have the ample cap space to give out a deal like this, they shouldn’t be thinking about it.
If LA wants to prioritize signing Reaves, it’s gonna be difficult if this ends up being the asking price for him. Until then, we’ll see if he ends up exceeding even more expectations in these playoffs in order to secure him a nice payday.