Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reeves may be worth over $50 million now, but the 25-year-old is still in awe of his teammate LeBron James.
In just two seasons, Reeves went from an undrafted free agent to a cornerstone of the Lakers. He eventually signed a four-year, $56 million contract this offseason and played a key role for Team USA at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Despite the rise in popularity, Reeves still praised his old teammates for their leadership and friendship. He said his relationship with James in particular has helped his rise.
“Obviously, coming from where I’m from, you know the plateau that he’s in,” Reeves said, according to Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points. “It’s crazy because everybody at home is Always saying, ‘How’s LeBron, how’s LeBron,’ and he was the best. Great teammate, great guy, great friend. He’s someone I’m very grateful for because he helped me out.” “Very.”
Reeves broke out in 2023, averaging 13 points, 3.4 assists and 3 rebounds in 64 regular season games. He only made 22 starts, so his performance off the bench was a huge boost for the Lakers, who were able to make the playoffs after missing the playoffs a year later.
In the playoffs, Reeves grabbed the starting job and shined. He averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 16 games and helped the Lakers reach the Western Conference Finals. He continued that performance at the FIBA World Cup, averaging 13.8 points per game off the bench for Team USA.
Looking ahead to the 2023-24 season, he will continue to perform well. With players like James closer to the end than the beginning, the youthful energy Reeves brings will be crucial for the Lakers as they look to bring another championship to the legendary star.