Austin Reaves is touted to be a starter for the Lakers – Can he get anywhere close to Kobe Bryant, the legendary shooting guard of LA?

Arun Sharma
|Published 24/08/2022

Austin Reaves made his debut last season with the purple and gold – He was one of the bright spots that came out of a dark season.

After losing Alex Caruso, the Los Angeles Lakers found two potential replacements for him. Mac McClung and Austin Reaves are two players who excelled in the summer league. While McClung is now with Golden State, Jeanie Buss hit the jackpot with Reaves. Last season need not be talked about much, but only two good things came out of it.

Fans found out Malik Monk is a star, and the Lakers found a replacement for their tireless defender. After playing 61 games in a tumultuous season, Reaves now stands to gain the most out of anyone. Darwin Ham seems to have identified him as the potential starting shooting guard. A backcourt pairing of Russell Westbrook and Reaves sounds like a terrible pairing, but could very well change.

Despite playing for 23 minutes a game. Reaves only took about 5 shots, sinking half of them. He averaged 7.3 points when he was almost the last option for scoring. Defensively he was sound too, which meant that he caught the eye of his future coach. Whether he is ready to step up so soon and fill the shoes of the late Kobe Bryant, is too early to tell.


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Also read:“Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Blake Griffin, and who?”: Austin Reaves joins an elite list of NBA rookies

Austin Reaves is following a legendary name like Kobe Bryant – Even if he is half as good as the No. 8, the Lakers will be happy

The Lakers faithful who have been waiting to hit on the “next Kobe” will have to wait a while because they don’t have any picks for the foreseeable future. But Reaves could fill in just fine, provided he does what he needs to do well. As someone who knows what the weight of the Purple and Gold jersey is, Reaves should be eased in, and hope he doesn’t turn into Talen Horton-Tucker.

Last season showed the fans that even after losing Caruso, they could fill in the gap left by him. Although not as effective, since it was only his first season. Now that he has one season and 60+ games under his belt, Austin should have broken in fine. The Lakers will not make the same mistake of letting him go, so he should be safe, for now.

Darwin Ham and LeBron James seem to highly rate the 24-year-old, so there must be a hidden gem. Or unless they see him as trade fodder, and they are fattening him up for the sacrifice. Either way, learning from LeBron is epic. Just like the young core that was traded away, Austin Reaves could succeed, just elsewhere. With a win-now attitude, The Lakers may never get to see another Black Mamba again.

Also Read: “Austin Reaves saw the game through LeBron James’s eyes and experienced the matrix”: The Lakers’ rookie had his eye-opening moment against James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets

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About the author
Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. A double degree holder and a digital marketer by trade, Arun has always been a sports buff. He fell in love with the sport of basketball at a young age and has been a Lakers fan since 2006. What started as a Kobe Bryant obsession slowly turned into a lifelong connection with the purple and gold. Arun has been an ardent subscriber to the Mamba mentality and has shed tears for a celebrity death only once in his life. He believes January 26, 2020, was the turning point in the passage of time because Kobe was the glue holding things together. From just a Lakers bandwagoner to a basketball fanatic, Arun has spent 16 long years growing up along with the league. He thinks Stephen Curry has ruined basketball forever, and the mid-range game is a sight to behold. Sharma also has many opinions about football (not the American kind), F1, MotoGP, tennis, and cricket.

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