Austin details how a draft decision changed his career

Austin Reeves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the second half of an NBA game at Footprint Center on November 22, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns beat the Lakers 115-105.
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers found and developed Austin Reeves into a very useful player.

He stood there, paid his dues, earned his dime, and worked his way into the rotation and up to a big payday.

Remarkably, none of this happened.

As the Arkansas product recently told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on All the Smoke, it was all the result of risky bets made by him and his agents during the NBA Draft.

Apparently, Reeves reached out to the Detroit Pistons—who intended to take him with the No. 42 pick—not to take him, as he was hoping to get a chance to play for the Lakers.

It’s not because of arrogance or because he was a Lakers fan or anything like that.

He explained that his agency had put together a list of team levels for him that were a better fit and gave him the best chance to make the roster.

Reeves claims that as much as he wanted to hear his name in the draft, it was all about playing the long game, knowing the Lakers wanted someone for a two-way spot, and betting on himself to be their guy. Were applying

Fast forward to today and that gamble paid off.

He just got almost $60 million and will stick with the organization for another four years, become a fan favorite, and could have a long and successful career with the Purple and Gold.

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