The 3 biggest decisions facing the Lakers this offseason

May 22, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves (15) practices before playing against the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of the 2023 NBA Western Conference Finals at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers are out of the Western Conference Finals and have some important decisions to make in NBA Free A.department Here are the biggest ones.

The Los Angeles Lakers have had one of the greatest offseason turnarounds in NBA history. They were 2-10 at the start of the season. They were 25-31 and the No. 13 seed at the trade deadline. They would finish the season 43-39 and make it to the Western Conference Finals.

Unfortunately, the magical run for the Lakers ended in four games at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. This new Lakers team has been in good shape, but only five players on the roster are under contract for next season. The Lakers have a lot of questions and decisions to make heading into free agency.

The Lakers’ biggest decisions in the offseason. 3. Keep Austin Reaves

One of the Lakers’ biggest surprises this offseason has been the arrival of undrafted kid Austin Reaves from Oklahoma. On the season, he averaged 13 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3 and 86 percent from the free throw line. He really stepped up for the Lakers over the last 26 games, where he averaged 16.4 points, 3 rebounds, 5.1 assists on 57.4 percent shooting from the field, 44 percent from 3 and 85 percent from the free throw line.

Reaves would continue his playoff success as the Lakers’ third-leading scorer, averaging 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists on 46/44/90 splits. He would average 21.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists on 55/56/100 splits in the conference finals. He performed at the highest level on the biggest stage.

Reaves enters 2023 free agency as a restricted free agent. The Lakers could extend him, but there are concerns that there are other teams willing to offer him a much bigger contract than the Lakers can afford. If the team is willing to offer him a $100 million contract, the Lakers will be making a tough decision with the game, potentially needing to let other players go in order to keep Reaves.

Reaves has given the Lakers every reason to keep him, but signing him to such a large contract would hurt their chances of acquiring more role players or another big star.

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