Austin Reaves reveals he almost signed with Spurs this offseason

Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves / Justin Ford/GettyImages

It is no secret that the San Antonio Spurs have never been the premier destination for free agents in the NBA. While there are far less interesting cities around the association, San Antonio has never had the pull that New York or Los Angeles does.

The Spurs have still managed to sign a handful of impactful free agents over the years, but most of their talent has historically been added through the draft. Recently, it was revealed that they missed out on one big name in free agency: Austin Reaves.

Appearing on former Spur Stephen Jackson's 'All The Smoke' podcast, Reaves detailed his draft process and talked about how he went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft. From there, he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as an undrafted free agent.

When Jackson's co-host, Matt Barnes, asked Reaves about what other teams he had considered signing with this summer besides the Lakers, Reaves listed a couple of unexpected names. "Houston, before Fred (VanVleet)," said Reaves. "And then San Antonio."

The fact that the Spurs came close to picking up Austin Reaves as an undrafted free agent in 2021 should come as a surprise to no one. San Antonio's scouting has been elite for decades, and they undoubtedly saw potential in the young guard from the University of Oklahoma.

In a way, it has to feel validating for the Spurs that Austin Reaves has become such an important piece for the Lakers in just his second professional season. In 2022-23, Reaves' role grew as the year went on, and he ended up starting all 16 playoff games for LA, averaging just shy of 17 points per game.

Going forward, he looks to be one of the cornerstones of the Lakers' franchise as they inch closer to the post-LeBron era. The Spurs being aware of Reaves' talent over two seasons ago should reinforce fans' belief in San Antonio's scouting and talent evaluation. If they had their eyes on a player as unknown as him in July 2021, there is no telling who else they will find soon.

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