Rui Hachimura Believes Current Version Of Lakers Can Continue Building To Compete For Championships
Rui Hachimura, Lakers
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

It looked like general manager Rob Pelinka learned his lesson as he spent the previous offseason keeping the Los Angeles Lakers’ core intact.

Pelinka brought back Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura after they helped the Lakers reach the Western Conference Finals. However, the same group was unable to get over the hump in the first round this year as they lost to the Denver Nuggets in five games.

Injuries slowed the team down to begin the 2023-24 season, with Hachimura missing time due to a nasal fracture and calf strain. However, the forward eventually found his groove in the second half of the year after being reinserted into the starting lineup.

L.A. may have been bounced early from the postseason, but Hachimura liked what he saw from the team toward the end of the year. “I think the first 30 games, I was injured, so I was in and out of the rotation and finally got back, and we kind of started rolling,” Hachimura said.

“We had a good stretch, like the last 40 games or something, before these playoff games. I think we what we said that is we’ve been building this chemistry. I think we got better, for sure, since last year. In these playoffs we faced the championship team, and we couldn’t beat them. But I think we got something from this year, so we just got to keep building it and just go for it next year.”

Hachimura also boldly claimed that the current version of the roster can compete for a championship if they can continue building together.

“I think this is the team. We can be in the championship. We just got to keep building. You guys see all these teams that are winning. They’ve been building for years, years, years. “It depends on the team. Every team has a different situation, but those are the ones winning. We just got to keep building it.

“Like you said, this past 30 games, we had a great stretch. I think we’d beat most of the teams in the league except for them. Our chemistry was so good. I think playing with these guys I had a lot of fun. Just on the court with them and off the court. I felt very comfortable around these guys, and I had fun. I think we have a lot of chance next year. I think we’re on the right track.”

Continuity is an underrated part of team building and Hachimura’s comments echo Anthony Davis, who also believes the Lakers need to keep investing in the current version of the roster. While keeping that continuity intact should be a priority, the purple and gold will also keep their options open if a star player becomes available.

Anonymous GM brings up idea of Lakers reuniting with Brandon Ingram

The Lakers are always linked to star players in the offseason and one general manager brought up the idea of them reuniting with New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram.

If a deal like that were to happen, Hachimura would likely be included for salary matching purposes.

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