The Los Angeles Lakers front office finally made a move this season and while it wasn’t a blockbuster deal, it is one that could make a big impact on the team. The Lakers dealt Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to the Washington Wizards for fourth-year forward Rui Hachimura.
The ninth overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft, Hachimura is averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds this season. He also gives the Lakers a player with some size on the perimeter, being listed at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds and has flashed some real potential at different points in his career.
While this move should help the team this season, the Lakers also see Hachimura as a future piece. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers traded for the forward with the intention of re-signing him this offseason:
The Lakers traded for Hachimura with the intention of signing him to an extension this summer, sources tell ESPN. Hachimura can be a restricted free agent. https://t.co/TAdM1h8iAH
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2023
This makes sense as the Lakers want to find the best pieces to surround their superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Hachimura certainly has a role with his versatile offensive game, not to mention his size and athleticism could be an asset defensively.
The soon-to-be 25-year-old is the type of player the Lakers should take a flyer on, especially at the cost it took to acquire him. The Lakers have been missing that versatile forward since they dealt away Kyle Kuzma and Hachimura could fill that void. Coincidentally enough, it is Kuzma’s great play since joining the Wizards, and Washington’s desire to re-sign him this summer, that made Hachimura available in a trade.
The Lakers’ front office has been searching for the right pieces to help improve this roster and Hachimura is a fine addition who should pay dividends both in this current and future seasons.
Lakers’ trade talks with Spurs surrounding Russell Westbrook are ‘still alive’
The Los Angeles Lakers might not be done dealing as there are still a couple of weeks before the trade deadline. Talks surrounding guard Russell Westbrook seemed to have cooled off, but they aren’t completely done yet.
Recent reports suggest that talks with the San Antonio Spurs surrounding Westbrook are still alive and both teams remain open to a potential deal. The Lakers are reportedly interested in big man Jakob Poeltl as well as wings Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott.
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