Los Angeles Lakers Re-Sign Rui Hachimura To Three-Year Contract
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers announced they have officially re-signed Rui Hachimura after acquiring him prior to the 2022-23 trade deadline. The terms of the contract were not announced, but it is reported to be a three-year contract worth $51 million.

The Lakers added Hachimura, an efficient scorer and strong defender, at the deadline in a deal with the Washington Wizards, sending Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to D.C. Hachimura’s versatility made him an important piece.

Although the former lottery pick struggled to find his footing in L.A., he eventually etched his role and was arguably one of the team’s best players during their postseason run. Hachimura shot just 29.6% from three in his 33 regular season contests, but saw that spike to 48.7% during the postseason.

He started just nine regular season games and one postseason game with the Lakers last season, but his impact on the bench was immeasurable. He averaged 12.2 points on 55.7/48.7/88.2 shooting splits during the Playoffs with incredible performances in each round.

He hit the ground running against the Memphis Grizzlies by scoring 29 and 20 points in the first two games of the eventual six-game series win. He scored 21 points in Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors, but overall struggled during the series.

But he was at his best against the Denver Nuggets, averaging 15.3 points and 3.8 rebounds while playing stellar defense against Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic.

Entering restricted free agency, the Lakers had very little doubt that he would return. But instead of having to match an offer sheet from another team, Hachimura and the Lakers got a deal done that gets the fifth-year forward $17 million per season while giving the Lakers another reasonable long-term deal.

Hachimura can now look for his permanent place in the Lakers system alongside some other versatile wings like Jarred Vanderbilt and Taurean Prince.

Hachimura withdraws from FIBA World Cup

Hachimura made the difficult decision to not represent his home country Japan in the upcoming FIBA World Cup to focus on his preparation for the 2023-24 NBA season. Hachimura is arguably one of Japan’s most well-known basketball players, and threw his support behind the Japanese national basketball team in a statement despite not playing in the event.

Now that he is back with the Lakers, it seems that Hachimura will spend his summer working out with the team’s coaching staff to improve for next season.

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