The Los Angeles Lakers let Alex Caruso walk to the Chicago Bulls in free agency because they didn’t want to pay up for him, but they might have found his replacement. Rookie Austin Reaves has taken the Lakers by storm and has enjoyed a lot of success playing next to LeBron James.
LeBron and Caruso infamously dominated together when they shared the court, even though the guard never put up huge numbers. He was a menace defensively who did a lot of things not captured by the box score with the team.
The sample size is small for Reaves so far, but the Lakers have also dominated when he has played with The King:
Los Angeles pulled out a 121-118 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night to secure its first win of the season. Reaves was a plus-18 in his 18 minutes on the court, providing a spark for the Lakers after a sluggish start to the game. He only had four points and three assists but clearly helped.
The 23-year-old guard also showed some nice things in the loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday night. Reaves had eight points and was a plus-17 in 12 minutes. While this was largely thanks to a big “comeback” in garbage time, it was nice to see Reaves have some success.
Reaves still has to prove a lot to actually get on the level of Caruso, who helped the Lakers win a championship and was a starter in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. However, the rookie is certainly off to a good start and is making a case for more playing time.
Rajon Rondo was out of the rotation against the Grizzlies, with Avery Bradley getting limited minutes.