Lakers’ Reaves never planned to leave L.A: ‘It feels like home to me’

Lakers' Reaves never planned to leave L.A: 'It feels like home to me'

Austin Reaves is happy right where he is.

After re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year, $54-million deal, the 25-year-old guard says he never planned on going anywhere.

“The whole time it was, ‘Get back to L.A.,'” Reaves said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “That’s where I want to be. It feels like home to me.

“I’ve said that multiple times before the free-agency stuff, but it was different. I had a stressful, probably, 10 hours, but after that, when it was done, couldn’t be more excited with the situation, with the team that we got, going back to L.A.”

The Lakers picked up Reaves as an undrafted free agent in 2021. He developed into a critical player by the end of his first two seasons, becoming a full-time starter late in the 2022-23 campaign.

Reaves averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in the postseason, helping the Lakers reach the Western Conference finals.

The former Oklahoma guard said recently on the “All the Smoke” podcast that the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs were also interested in him this summer.

Those teams could’ve offered Reaves more money than the Lakers did, but Los Angeles had the right to match any offer for the restricted free agent.

Reaves is currently with Team USA for training camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup, which begins Aug. 25.

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