2. Austin Reaves
San Antonio also failed to manufacture efficient offense because they had such a shortage of advantage creators on their roster. And signing players that can score off the dribble and set their up teammates could become a priority if the front office decides to expedite the rebuild this offseason. It might sound insane, but Austin Reaves meets those specific criteria.
The second-year guard has surpassed expectations after going undrafted in 2021, transforming from a sound role player into a full-fledged breakout star for the Lakers as they made a hectic playoff push over the last month of the regular season. Reaves rose to the challenge with LeBron James on the sidelines, keeping a severely shorthanded Los Angeles squad afloat.
Reaves averaged 18.1 points and 5.6 assists on exceptional .565/.426/.853 shooting splits in the 20 games leading up to the play-in tournament, with no problem adjusting to whatever role Darvin Ham asked him to play. That ability to function as a primary ballhandler or complementary scorer could earn him a massive pay raise from his current $1.6M two-way contract.
The 24-year-old swingman is a restricted free agent, but Los Angeles has numerous personnel decisions on their plate this summer. The Lakers can match any offer sheet he receives, though recent reports say things could get tricky if a deal nears the $60M-$70M threshold. Would PATFO roll the dice on Reaves for that much money? That's another question entirely.