Lakers Trade Rumors: Front Office Opted For Rui Hachimura Over Knicks’ Cam Reddish
Cam Reddish, Lakers, Knicks
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers kicked off the trade season when they acquired Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura on Monday. L.A. sent guard Kendrick Nunn plus three second-round picks for Hachimura, a four-year player who was selected No. 9 in the 2019 NBA Draft.

At 6-foot-8, 230 pounds, Hachimura offers what the Lakers desperately needed — a player with size who can shoot the ball and has the skills to evolve into a solid defender. The Lakers intend to re-sign Hachimura in the offseason when he can be a restricted free agent.

Hachimura shot 44.7% from deep last season on 2.9 3-point attempts per game. That seems like an outlier, however, as he shot 32.8% the season before and fell to 33.7% this season. The optimistic outlook though is that Hachimura will get more open looks with the Lakers, likely to increase that percentage.

L.A. had some other options to make a deal, most notably New York Knicks forward Cam Reddish. It seems that the Lakers preferred Hachimura, according to NBA Insider Marc Stein:

The Lakers likely could have traded for the Knicks’ Cam Reddish for a similar package that they sent to Washington but opted for Hachimura, who was drafted ninth overall by the Wizards in 2019.

Reddish was a popular name attached to the Lakers as a potential trade target for the last couple of years.

Talks intensified between the Knicks and Lakers days before Hachimura was acquired. It was reported that New York wanted two second-round picks in a trade for Reddish. Clearly, the Lakers could have made a deal work, but they went with Hachimura.

L.A.’s interest in Reddish dates back to last January when they offered the Atlanta Hawks two second-round picks to acquire him. The Hawks declined and Reddish was moved to the Knicks for Kevin Knox and a first-round pick.

The acquisition of Hachimura likely puts an end to Reddish joining the Lakers in a trade. If they decide to make another trade, L.A. still has four remaining second-round picks plus the highly coveted 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.

Rui Hachimura explains what he will bring to the Lakers

Newly acquired forward Rui Hachimura has the potential to pay off for the Lakers. He’s still a young player with untapped potential. In his first comments as a Lakers, he broke down what he expects to offer to the Lakers this season.

“I think for me, I think I can shoot the ball from three and midrange. I can attack the rim,” Hachimura said. “Even off the ball, cutting and stuff is good for me. And yeah, I can get a rebound and pushing the ball and stuff. So I can do a lot of stuff. And I think this can be great.”

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