Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Sterling Brown, Austin Reaves, Wenyen Gabriel Contracts

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 6, 2023

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 27: Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers passes the ball to LeBron James #6 against the Orlando Magic during the third quarter at Amway Center on December 27, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers will guarantee the contracts of Austin Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel for the rest of the 2022-23 season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

The team is also working on a potential 10-day contract for veteran guard Sterling Brown, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

Reaves and Gabriel have both been with the team since last season, but their salaries for 2022-23 were non-guaranteed, per Spotrac. Both contracts will automatically become fully guaranteed on Jan. 6, but the Lakers have seen enough to confirm the two players will remain on the roster for the rest of the season.

Reaves has especially been a revelation this year with averages of 10.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. The fan favorite was even in the top 10 among Western Conference guards in voting for the All-Star game.

The Lakers are plus-2.6 per 100 possessions with Reaves on the court, per Basketball Reference, the best mark on the team among regulars. Gabriel is second in the category at plus-2.3.

After going undrafted out of Oklahoma, Reaves signed a two-way contract with Los Angeles and continues to impress while becoming an impact player both in and out of the starting lineup. He will be a restricted free agent in the offseason, but he could be a priority for the squad.

Gabriel had appeared for five different organizations before latching on with the Lakers, although he has performed well this year, averaging 14.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per 36 minutes. The forward is currently providing valuable depth in the frontcourt with Anthony Davis out with a foot injury.

The 17-21 Lakers are still in need of more help to get back into the playoff picture, and Brown could help thanks to his two-way ability on the perimeter. The 27-year-old has averaged 5.4 points per game across five NBA seasons, shooting 36.4 percent from three-point range while rating as a plus-defender.

He's appeared in two G-League games this season with the Raptors 905, averaging 13 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

With significant playoff experience at the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks on his resume, Brown could give head coach Darvin Ham another experienced option in the rotation.