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Lakers guard Austin Reaves ‘pissed’ about going undrafted in 2021

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Sports Editor
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Lakers guard Austin Reaves pissed about going undrafted in 2021
USA Today Network

Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves felt enraged and disheartened after going undrafted in 2021. The University of Oklahoma product signed a two-way contract with L.A. after playing four seasons in the NCAA. His first two seasons were with Wichita State.

In September 2021, his two-way deal was then converted into a regular contract. “I was pissed, to be honest. Obviously, I didn’t feel like there were 60 better players, but the draft’s not all about talent at that moment,” Reaves told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Lakers have ninth-shortest odds to win the championship. Multiple sportsbooks are showing greater odds for the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors.

“It’s about potential and stuff like that, probably after 25 [pick]. I wasn’t happy, but I knew I was going to have an opportunity, and that was all it was going to take, someone giving me an opportunity to go prove myself,” added Reaves.

Last season, the Lakers guard exceeded expectations. In 61 appearances, 21 of which were starts, Reaves averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He shot 45.9% from the floor and 31.7% beyond the arc as well.

Lakers’ second-year guard Austin Reaves felt he was better than at least one of the 60 prospects after going undrafted in 2021

In Los Angeles’ 146-141 season-finale win against the Denver Nuggets on April 10, 2022, the rookie guard recorded his first career triple-double. While the Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention, he still played a terrific game.

Reaves amassed career highs of 31 points, 16 boards, and 10 assists in 42 minutes of action. Also, the Lakers guard finished 7-of-17 (41.2%) shooting from the field, 3-of-5 (60%) outside the arc, and 14-of-14 (100%) at the foul line.

Through 36 appearances this season, the second-year guard is averaging career highs of 10.8 points, 2.2 dimes, and 28.9 minutes per contest, along with 3.1 rebounds. Not to mention, he’s shooting career bests of 48.8% from the floor and 36% from 3-point range.

Moreover, Reaves ranks 13th in free throw shooting (89.6%). On Dec. 9, in the Lakers’ 133-122 loss versus the Philadelphia 76ers, the 24-year-old logged a season-high 25 points in 41 minutes off the bench. He shot 9-of-15 (60%) from the field and drained four 3s.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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