The Los Angeles Lakers have had one of the best offseasons in the NBA.
They kept their key guys on team-friendly and tradeable deals, and added some potentially impactful pieces like Cam Reddish and Taurean Prince, who are still young and could end up playing big minutes for them.
However, none of the moves they made were as impactful as keeping Austin Reaves, at least, according to sports analyst Skip Bayless.
Per Bayless, getting Reaves back is the reason why LeBron James has a legit chance to win his fifth NBA championship before retiring, adding that he had never seen a player improve so much from college basketball to the league.
The biggest reason LeBron James has a chance to win his 5th ring is the fact that the Lakers locked down Austin Reaves.pic.twitter.com/WTyyxp54ND
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) July 11, 2023
Truth be told, Reaves did play a big part in the Lakers’ success in the second half of the season, and he took plenty of pressure off LeBron James’ shoulders as a playmaker and ball-handler, especially in crunch time.
Darvin Ham even drew up plays for him, and chances are that they wouldn’t have gotten as far as they did if it wasn’t for him, even if he kind of underperformed in the second round as well.
Reaves became a fan favorite and earned his teammates’ confidence as well, and there’s no denying that the Lakers got him at a bargain price and he could have one of the best values in the league, at least financially.
Then again, he might not be the main — or only — reason why they’re expected to be in the mix for a championship next season.NEXT: Analyst Says The Celtics Are Not Expected To Be In The Mix For Damian Lillard