The undrafted youngster, in his second seven day stretch of on-court activity in the NBA, wound up on the floor close by LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony, four players he grew up looking as a child.
“It’s crazy,” Reaves said at shootaround on Wednesday. “For them to trust me enough to look for me and give me opportunities to make plays is special and it just boosts my confidence even more.”
It was the most recent achievement second for Reaves, whose climb from two-way underwriter to playing close by NBA legends has been quick — if not additionally justified — during the Lakers instructional course and preseason. Prior to the preseason, before the group’s minicamp in Las Vegas and even before Summer League, however, Reaves had effectively gotten a significant first fan.
“I watched a lot of film on him when we drafted him, actually. I knew right away that he could be an NBA player and play at this level,” LeBron James said after Tuesday’s game. “His size, his shot-making ability, his pick-and-roll play, his passing, a high IQ kid and he’s got a lot of dog in him, too, that translates to our game.”
Then, at that point, on a two-way bargain, Reaves joined the Lakers in Las Vegas before the beginning of instructional course and it was there he demonstrated his ability. His play persuaded James to think he could “play at an undeniable level” — as he said on Tuesday — and it drove the Lakers to sign him to a reliable agreement, taking up one of their two last program spots.
All that went before a preseason where he’s displayed out in spite of being in the midst of a swarmed backcourt. As wounds have mounted, however, Reaves has gone from trash time minute-eater to a piece of an arrangement covered with Hall of Famers.
Tuesday filled in as the summit of a solid series of exhibitions in games and by and by combined with a chance made accessible because of wounds to Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn, Talen Horton-Tucker and Wayne Ellington that left the Lakers out of nowhere slender on the wing.
Reaves exploited the occasion, playing 27 minutes — his most this preseason — while scoring 10 focuses with three helps and two takes. Four of those minutes came close by the Lakers’ new Big Three, an indication of the two his solid play and the trust he’s acquired from the training staff.
One of the main things Reaves has accomplished more than pose inquiries from Rondo? Make efforts to the face during training.
“He’s been hit in the face more than any rookie in the league I’m sure,” Rondo said. “We’ve got to get him a facemask and mouthpiece soon, but like I said, he’s just fearless, man. He plays the right way. Obviously, he’s a knock-down shooter and he’s always just asking me questions, he sits next to me on the bench, he talks to Coach Phil (Handy) and Coach Mike Penberthy, so he’s obviously a sponge and student of the game, and I think that’s going to be great for his development and his future.”
Reaves has savored the chance to play for the Lakers, a circumstance he apparently turned down the opportunity to be drafted to join. With veterans encompassing him, Reaves has taken the risk to learn however much he can, beginning with Rondo.