The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they have acquired forward Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards for guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round draft picks.
According to various reports, the Lakers are sending the Chicago Bulls’ second-rounder in 2023, their own in 2029 and the less favorable of theirs and Washington’s in 2028. The Lakers have the Wizards’ 2028 pick from the Russell Westbrook deal a couple of years ago.
What the Lakers are getting in Hachimura is a 6’8″ forward that was drafted ninth overall out of Gonzaga in 2019. Although he didn’t pan out as the Wizards had hoped when they selected him, he is still just 24 years of age and will provide the Lakers with some size and shooting on the wing.
“We are excited to welcome Rui and his family to the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Rob Pelinka of the acquisition. “Adding both size and depth to the wing position has been a goal, and the chance to accomplish that by acquiring a player with Rui’s two-way skills and upside was an opportunity that doesn’t present itself often. We want to thank Kendrick Nunn and his family for his time as a Laker, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
In four NBA seasons, The Japan native has averaged 13.0 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 47.9% from the field and 35.6% from 3-point range. In 30 games off the bench this season, he has averaged 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds with 48.8/33.7/75.9 shooting splits. His final game as a Wizard was one of Hachimura’s best as he had 30 points and five rebounds in Saturday’s win over the Orlando Magic.
With the Wizards hoping to sign Kyle Kuzma to an extension this summer, they clearly did not have Hachimura in their future plans so decided to trade him before he reaches restricted free agency in the offseason. Washington reportedly was hoping to get a first-round pick back but couldn’t find any takers, so they settled for three second-rounders from the Lakers.
Depending on how Hachimura plays to finish out the season, the Lakers will likely look to re-sign him to a long-term deal. He will have an $18.8 million cap hold, which will cut into L.A.’s cap space. With that being the case, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Lakers make other trades ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline to further improve the roster for this season and long term.
Lakers still talking with Spurs about Westbrook trade
With the Lakers only trading second-rounders for Hachimura, they still have their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks at their disposal if they want to make a bigger deal. One possibility is a trade with the Spurs, swapping out Russell Westbrook’s expiring contract for some combination of Jakob Poeltl, Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson.
The Lakers and Spurs discussed trades in the summer before ultimately standing pat. According to a recent report though, those talks could be revisited ahead of the trade deadline. It seems that Rob Pelinka will have a lot of possibilities if he wants to make another trade, so now it will be up to him to decide what’s best for the organization.
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