Lakers Retaining Two Fan Favorites For Remainder of Season


One of them took a route well-traveled to join the Los Angeles Lakers this season, the other's path was much more unexpected. Now, they're both being rewarded. The Lakers are guaranteeing the contracts today of Avery Bradley and Austin Reaves. 

Bradley was claimed off waivers before the season to fill the final spot on the roster, but his deal wasn't guaranteed past today's date. His recent stretch of play since the Lakers have gone to a small-ball lineup has won him a contract for the rest of the season. Bradley has a net rating of +10.5 over the last four games of small-ball, behind only LeBron James and Malik Monk in that span.

“He sets a great tone for us on the defensive of the ball," said head coach Frank Vogel, "and he’s really brought a lot on the offensive side as well.”

It's Bradley's 2nd run with the team, after spending part of the 2019-20 season with the eventual NBA champion Lakers.

Austin Reaves' story is far more of a fairytale journey. The undrafted rookie and fan favorite has played in just 19 of the Lakers games this season, but the team is 14-5 in those games, and according to SB Nation, Reaves has an overall net rating of +10.5 — far and away the best mark of rotation players on the Lakers this season.

With his all-round skillset, he's been a huge contributor. “I think it’s just (being) willing to do whatever on the court,” Reaves said. “If it’s play defense, dive on the floor for loose balls, take charges, just all those little things that can either win or lose you a game are the things I’m kind of here to do."

And now he's here to see it all through this season. 

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports