Lakers Rumors: Austin Reaves Has Has Stood Out As Someone Better Than Expected With Team USA
(Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

Team USA concluded its exhibition schedule on Sunday with a 16-point comeback win against Germany. Now the team’s focus shifts to the FIBA World Cup on Aug. 26 against New Zealand.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves has been a steady contributor for USA off the bench and Sunday was another case of that. When Reaves initially committed to Team USA, there was some disgruntled NBA fans believing that he was not worthy of the spot, but that has not been the case five games in.

USA trailed by 16 points against Germany in the third quarter and desperately needed a spark, thus Reaves and Tyrese Haliburton were inserted by head coach Steve Kerr and the game completely turned around.

The Arkansas native played the whole fourth quarter and finished with 16 points on 66% from the field and 2-for-2 from 3. It has been made clear that isn’t a fluke and Reaves is a quality NBA player. It seems that people involved with the USA program were not expecting this kind of impact, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst:

“A player that I had several people say has really impressed them and been, like, much better than they were expecting has been Austin Reaves.”

It has been eye-opening how Reaves has been able to fit in with this USA roster with so many young and talented scorers who are used to be the No. 1 option. The second-year guard has received high praise from Kerr and described as a ‘connector’ for this USA team, and it has shown. When the starting five gets stagnant, Reaves and or Haliburton lead the charge and make the offense more fluid and free-flowing.

Reaves seems to have been able to form positive relationships with Anthony Edwards, Mikal Bridges and Brandon Ingram as they’ve had said their positive comments about the Lakers guard. Chemistry is a key factor when bringing in egos and the top guys of the league, in this case bringing in the up-and-coming talents. Kerr has to be able to figure it out on the fly and it seems that the players are fond of one another.

With the draft, free agency and Summer League out of the picture, fans now anxiously wait for preseason. But, seeing Reaves thrive in his first year with Team USA has filled that void. While this roster is still very young, they have been able to figure it out while picking up five straight wins heading into the World Cup.

LeBron James praises Edwards during 34-point performance for Team USA

While Reaves and Haliburton did play a key role in turning Sunday’s game around, it was Edwards who was on fire, dropping 34 points while hitting timely shots in the fourth quarter to close it out. Lakers star LeBron James was watching and showed some praise towards Edwards after USA got the win.

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