Austin Reaves turned down being drafted by Detroit Pistons to sign with Lakers

According to Austin Reaves, he was going to be drafted by the Detroit Pistons... until he wasn't.

In a remarkable turn of events, undrafted free agent Austin Reaves has defied the odds and achieved meteoric success with the Los Angeles Lakers. From going undrafted in 2021 to becoming a key contributor in the team's run to the Western Conference Finals, Reaves' journey is nothing short of inspiring. According to Reaves, the Detroit Pistons wanted that journey to be with them.

Austin Reaves Detroit Pistons Los Angeles Lakers

Austin Reaves turned down being drafted by Detroit Pistons to sign with Lakers

The young talent's rise to stardom took an intriguing twist when he revealed that the Detroit Pistons had expressed interest in drafting him with the 42nd pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. However, Reaves made a calculated decision and chose to decline the offer, opting for a different path that led him to a 4-year, $54 million extension with the Lakers this offseason.

“I knew what I was capable of doing, the skillset, IQ, stuff like that,” Reaves said of going undrafted. “So it was really just about — my agency put me in a good position to, you know, have all of that. We could got drafted 42nd to Detroit, but kind of declined that to to kind of put me in L.A. for a better spot.”

“It was, like I said, really trying to put me in a position to be able to get a roster spot,” Reaves said. “We knew there was a high interest for a two-way, so we didn’t really have to press, and that’s what everything in the Draft would have been from 42 and on, would have been basically a two-way agreement.”

Key Points

  • Austin Reaves went undrafted in 2021 but quickly earned a starting role with the Los Angeles Lakers during the past season.
  • The Lakers recognized his potential and rewarded him with a 4-year, $54 million extension.
  • Reaves revealed that the Detroit Pistons were interested in drafting him with the 42nd pick, but he declined the offer to pursue opportunities with the Lakers.
  • His agency strategically positioned him to secure a spot with the Lakers and capitalize on the team's interest in a two-way agreement.
  • Despite not hearing his name called during the Draft, Reaves is content with the path he chose and the success he achieved with the Lakers.
Detroit Pistons 2023 NBA Mock Draft Tobias Harris Cam Johnson Monte Morris Jared Rhoden Malcolm Cazalon Austin Reaves

Bottom Line – A Bold Move That Paid Off

Austin Reaves' choice to decline the Detroit Pistons' draft offer and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers was undoubtedly a bold move, but it undoubtedly paid off. By joining the Lakers, Reaves not only found the right team to showcase his skills but also proved himself as a valuable asset on their journey to the Western Conference Finals. His inspiring story serves as a reminder that success in the NBA isn't solely determined by draft position but also by determination, perseverance, and seizing the right opportunities.


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