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Lakers News: Austin Reaves To Have First Signature Shoe Released This Summer

The strong play of Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves propelled him into the starting lineup in late March, adding a new dynamic to the Lakers lineup.

With D’Angelo Russell and LeBron James sidelined for some games in March, Reaves enjoyed a larger playmaking and scoring role. Reaves averaged 17 points per game on 54.9% shooting from the field. He also began to live at the free throw line — averaging seven free throw attempts per game, miles ahead of his totals in December and February.

Reaves’ impending free agency will be a hot topic for the Lakers this offseason. The two sides reportedly have mutual interest in getting a deal done. L.A. can offer Reaves a max deal of four years, $50 million and have the capacity to match any deal he’s offered by other teams.

Interest from other teams will likely be high for Reaves this offseason, a far cry from the undrafted gem the Lakers found two years ago. Reaves is getting more opportunities on the court, but also off it too — he reportedly will have his own signature shoe releasing this summer, according to ESPN’s Nick DePaula:

FIRST LOOK: Austin Reaves is getting his own signature shoe 👀👀

The Rigorer AR1 will be releasing later this summer.

— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) April 2, 2023

The shoe will be released by Rigorer, a Chinese brand that Reaves signed with last year. There are no other details yet about the shoe regarding a release date or availability in the U.S. The initial colorway looks to be purple and gold, even though Reaves is a free agent this summer.

Reaves became the company’s first endorser when he signed the deal last summer, but is far from the first NBA athlete to release a shoe with a Chinese brand — Dwyane Wade and Klay Thompson are the most notable to do so.

However, the key difference between those two names and Reaves is that they were top draft picks expected to have their own shoe. Reaves was an undrafted rookie from Arkansas who fought for his spot in the league. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for him to release a signature shoe.

Austin Reaves & D’Angelo Russell enjoying playing together

The Lakers are 4-1 since the addition of Reaves in the starting lineup, adding a different element to the team. In two games, Reaves has been able to take the playmaking load off of D’Angelo Russell since his return from injury.

The sophomore guard enjoys being slotted next to Russell in the lineup.

“Man, I love playing with him,” Reaves said. “He just plays the right way. Makes the simple play. Will go out of his way to ask you how you want to get involved in the game, like what play you want to run. Just little things like that.”

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