Lakers HC Issues Lofty Statement on Team’s Outlook

The Los Angeles Lakers came within four games of the NBA Finals. But, let head coach Darvin Ham tell it, they are on the verge of breaking through.

Ham rattled off name after name – from stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis to offseason depth pieces like Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish – to drive home his point. While they were unable to advance past the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, Ham believes their depth could help them get back to the Finals three years after their last run.

“Absolutely,” Ham said, per Leonard Solms of ESPN on August 14. “I think the sky is the limit for what we will be able to do. … I think we added a lot of depth, a lot of guys that have skill, size and athleticism, so I look forward to all of that coming together.”

The Lakers were very active this offseason.

They re-signed Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell and added Prince, Reddish, Jaxson Hayes, and Gabe Vincent in free agency.

.@stephenasmith thinks the Lakers’ offseason moves will put them back in the Conference Finals 👀

— First Take (@FirstTake) July 5, 2023

Ham did note that the team will have to come together and have some “luck” to get there. But the pieces are in place.

Reaves – whom Ham holds in high regard – agrees with his head coach’s assessment.

“I feel really, really good about what we did,” Reaves said, per Sam Yip of HoopsHype on August 9. “Those pieces fit really well with what we kinda need because we lacked that last year. Overall, everybody’s competitive, and we kinda got that taste last year of running it back and trying to win a championship.”

If they are successful in getting there, it could mean that Reaves has made strides toward becoming the player Ham believes he can be.

“I’m putting it on record right now: Austin Reaves will be an All-Star at some point soon,” Ham said on the “#thisleague: UNCUT” podcast on July 13. “I think…him being invited to be a part of the World Cup team is the first step in that direction.”

Mikal Bridges: Austin Reaves ‘Here Now’

As he prepares for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Reaves has drawn praise from Team USA head coach Steve Kerr who also got a first-hand account of what Reaves is capable of during the Western Conference Semi-Finals. But the 24-year-old former undrafted free agent has been impressing his teammates too.

“This ain’t no underdog s— no more,” Brooklyn Nets swingman Mikal Bridges said, per Dan Woike of the LA Times. “He’s here.”

Bridges highlighted Reaves’ ability to get to the free-throw line saying, “That s***’s an art”.

Reaves went from 1.9 free throw attempts per game as a rookie to 3.4 attempts this past season. And, from March 1 through April 7, he averaged 7.0 free throw attempts per game before averaging 3.6 attempts in the postseason.

AR is such a good basketball player

— kuz (@kylekuzma) August 13, 2023

“A-R you so COLD man!!! #TeamUSA,” James tweeted on August 7.

As good as he has already become, Reaves has his sights set on improving as a playmaker which teams can never have too many of.

Austin Reaves Has to Help Anthony Davis Carry the Torch

James’ seal of approval is notable if for no other reason than he is heading into the final guaranteed year of his two-year, $99 million contract and can become a free agent after this coming season. Going into his age-39 season, retirement is also not far off, though he remains an elite performer.

With Davis now under contract through at least the 2026-27 season after signing a three-year, $186 million contract extension, finding his next co-star is key.

L.A. may have a head start on that process with Reaves who continues to impress at every new level.

This stretch from Austin Reaves

— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) August 14, 2023

That would make things easier for their front office.

Like’s content? Be sure to follow us.

This article was originally published on

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *