Los Angeles Lakers barely avoided serious bidding war with Spurs for young star in free agency

It seems the Los Angeles Lakers scheme to spread the word that they would match any offer on Austin Reaves worked because they were this close to facing a max offer from the San Antonio Spurs on the young star.

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the offseason with multiple goals, however, the biggest priority was to make sure that Austin Reaves was back in a purple-and-gold uniform for the next few seasons. For a franchise known for building winning teams through free agency and with trades, the 25-year-old is one of the few prospects they have developed into a major impact player recently.

While Lebron James and Anthony Davis will get much of the credit for the Lakers’ run to the Western Conference finals this Spring, Reaves played a major role in their success as well. The organization’s brain trust was well aware of that fact and it’s why re-signing him this summer was so important.

Los Angeles Lakers re-sign Austin Reaves for 4-years, $54 million

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However, there were major concerns because the rest of the league also saw potential in the Wichita State and Oklahoma alum. Reports before free agency opened claimed there were several teams considering a max deal (four-years, $100 million) offer for the Lakers star. However, the word out of LA was that the team would match any offer.

The day before the market opened, rumors also suggested the Lakers would force interested teams to wait before they decided to match the offer, which could hurt their chances of signing other free agents. That scheme seemed to work as the team was able to re-sign at a team-friendly price of four years and $54 million.

On Tuesday, The Athletic’s NBA insider Jova Buha confirmed that fact by revealing the San Antonio Spurs had serious interest in Reaves and were planning to offer a max deal or a short three-year for $60 million. Both were for far more money than Reaves ended up getting from Los Angeles Lakers.

The report adds the rumblings that insisted the Lakers would match scared San Antonio off from making a serious move for the forward.

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