3. Austin Reaves
What a journey it's been for Austin Reaves. After going undrafted out of Oklahoma, he quickly found a spot in the Los Angeles Lakers rotation. Reaves made a name for himself after his second season in Los Angeles. A season where he averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.
Reaves truly broke out during the 2023 NBA Playoffs. In 36.2 minutes per game, Reaves averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. The Lakers' guard also canned 44.3 percent of his triples.
In the offseason, Reaves re-upped with Los Angeles for what seemed like a steal. His contract was worth $56 million over four years. However, to begin the 2023-24 season, Reaves came out flat.
After his poor start, head coach Darvin Ham moved Reaves to a reserve role. And as a sixth man, the Los Angeles guard flourished. His points, rebounds, and assists spiked, as did his field goal and 3-point percentage.
Recently, due to some turbulence in Southern California, Reaves reentered the starting five. Since his promotion, he's been back to playing like the 2023 Playoffs version of himself. Reaves has scored in double-digits in five of his past six games. The Oklahoma product has also recorded four games of six or more assists in January.
Although Reaves' name hasn't been thrown out in much trade chatter, he's a very appealing prospect. The Lakers' best two players are 30 years old or older. And despite an experienced core, Los Angeles falls below the Play-In qualifications at 11th place in the West.
If Reaves is on the trade block, acquiring him won't be easy. But, the former Sooner is worth it. He's a diverse offensive player, capable of scoring with or without the ball. And as evidenced by his assist numbers, the Los Angeles guard is a willing and innovative passer.