The Los Angeles Lakers cannot take a break.
Making it to the Western Conference Finals after the way the season started last season was a big thing, but that s not good enough for such a historied franchise.
That s why they cannot afford to lose some of the key guys that actually helped them get there last season.
With that in mind, the team has officially extended qualifying offers to both Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves, thus making them restricted free agents.
OFFICIAL: The Lakers extended qualifying offers to Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves. As a result of the qualifying offers, Hachimura and Reaves become restricted free agents. pic.twitter.com/8jqkyr0TvY
Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 28, 2023
This means the Lakers will now have the right to match any offer they get from other teams, although that doesn t necessarily mean they ll be able to keep them.
The Lakers could choose not to match any of the offers if they get priced out of contention for their services or if a good player suddenly becomes available and they need the cap space.
This isn t much of a surprise, as the team was always expected to extend them qualifying offers, especially after how they contributed in the postseason.
There aren t many reports about other teams interested in prying Hachimura away, but there has been some interest in Austin Reaves, mainly from the Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs.
Reaves is expected to fetch close to $100 million over four years in his next contract.
And while that s way more than the Lakers originally expected to pay for their new gem, they ll now have no choice but to give him a big bag and hope no one is willing to pay more for his services.