Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves gets rewarded with a four-year $56 million deal to stay with the Lakers. Lakers Daily/Twitter


  • The Lakers retained their backcourt players in the hope of improving on 2022-23 NBA season finish
  • Austin Reaves was rewarded for his efforts with a reported four-year, $56 million deal
  • D'Angelo Russell is expected to play a vital part in the Lakers' rotation for the coming NBA season

The Los Angeles Lakers know that they cannot afford to let another rising star leave Hollywood and have made sure that Austin Reaves is not going anywhere.

The Lakers and the 25-year-old guard came to terms and agreed on a four-year Early Bird maximum contract worth $56 million, unnamed sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic Saturday. International Business Times could not independently verify the information.

Reaves was one of the unsung heroes for the Lakers last season, particularly when they made that push for an NBA Finals seat. The Lakers fell short of that goal when they bowed to the eventual champion Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference finals.

Regardless, it cannot be denied that Reaves did his share and contributed if not starred in some pivotal Lakers' games.

The former Oklahoma Sooner averaged 13 points, 3.4 assists and three rebounds in 64 regular season games, logging 28.2 minutes per contest.

In the playoffs, the 6-foot-5 guard upped his numbers in his first NBA playoff stint by averaging 16.9 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 16 outings, per Basketball-Reference.

Reaves thus became one of the vital re-signings of the Lakers in a group of players who were on the free-agent market. As of this writing, the only other players from the Los Angeles roster last season who have agreed to return are Rui Hachimura and D'Angelo Russell.

For his part, Russell agreed to a two-year, $37 million deal to return to the Lakers' fold, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported. The new deal includes a player option in the second year, the scribe added.

Russell returned to the Lakers, the same team that selected him as the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

After getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets in 2017, the 6-foot-4 guard was able to come out of his shell and prove his worth. Aside from the Nets, Russell also had stops with the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In the 17 games of his second coming, the All-Star guard normed 17.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists. However, his absence in the playoffs was glaring, and this raised questions about whether he would return for the Lakers.

D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell will return to the Lakers for the 2023-24 NBA season. Getty Images/Elsa