The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be active in trade talks with the hopes of bringing a third star next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
At the beginning of the season, there was an expectation among Lakers fans that Austin Reaves was that star. Even though the 25-year-old guard is having a solid season, he hasn't blossomed into the All-Star caliber the organization was hoping for after his incredible playoff run in 2023.
However, the Lakers aren't ready to give up on him and made him close to untouchable, according to reporting by The Athletic's Jovan Buha.
Lakers Rumors: Austin Reaves Trade Asking Price Revealed
"They have no interest in trading Reaves. The exception would be in a deal for a clear-cut third All-Star, with a name like Lauri Markkanen being the only player of that ilk potentially available on the trade market (and an unrealistic option for the Lakers, to be clear)."- Jovan Buha, The Athletic
The Lakers' unwillingness to include Reaves in negotiations was the main reason the Dejounte Murray talks didn't go anywhere. It is therefore understandable that they wouldn't give him up in a deal for players like Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks of the Pistons as Detroit beat writer James Edwards III ridiculously proposed.
As Buha reported, there are simply not too many players on the market clearly better than Reaves who are in the Lakers' price range.
Reaves not only showed he could be the third-best player on a contender with his performance last season, but he is also on a team-friendly contract. For Los Angeles to part ways with him, it has to be a clear upgrade.
A low-level move for the Lakers that doesn't include Reaves seems like a more likely scenario at the deadline.
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