Breaking down the Rui trade 👀
Sources: Lakers are sending the 2023 Chicago second-rounder, their own 2029 second-rounder and the Wizards/Lakers less favorable second-rounder in 2028 in the Kendrick Nunn-for-Rui Hachimura trade.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 23, 2023
Hachimura is in the last year of his deal, and the Wizards were unable to lock him down to an extension, leading to his trade. LA will now look to sign him to an extension this summer.
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
The 24-year-old forward gives the much-needed size to Darvin Ham’s rotation. The Lakers have lacked depth at forward all season long while having a surplus of guards. Standing at 6’8’’, Hachimura will provide offense and shot-creating for the team while being a solid defender.
He’s not a star like many of the other players' LA was linked to, but he fills the role they need. Hachimura is also a young player who helps them build up a young roster around LeBron and AD.
This season, he is averaging 13/4/1, shooting 48.8% from the field and 33.7% from three. While his three-point shot hasn’t been like it was last season, where he shot 44.7%, he can still knock down the three-ball and space the floor.
He’s coming off a January 21st performance where he had 30 points, shooting 13-22 and 3-5 from distance.
Rui is a better pickup than Reddish.— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) January 23, 2023
Having another shot-creator on the roster can open things up more for LeBron, AD, and Westbrook, as defenses won’t be able to focus on them exclusively.
Hachimura could move into the starting lineup or be a part of the bench unit with Westbrook. Either way, he will be a great addition to the rotation.
Updated depth chart:— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) January 23, 2023
PG: Dennis Schröder, Russell Westbrook
SG: Patrick Beverley, Austin Reaves, Max Christie
SF: Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson
PF: LeBron James, Rui Hachimura, Wenyen Gabriel
C: Anthony Davis, Thomas Bryant, Damian Jones
The Lakers have seen the role players step up in AD’s absence as Dennis Schroder, Thomas Bryant, Wenyen Gabriel, Troy Brown Jr, JTA, and Max Christie have all played bigger roles. Adding Hachimura to this group with AD, Lonnie Walker IV, and Austin Reaves set to return soon sets up the Lakers for success.
This team has gone through ups and downs this season, as they sit in 12th place at 22-25. However, they are only two games out of the 6th seed, and the Lakers are in a prime position to make a deep playoff push in the wide-open Western Conference.
The addition of Hachimura will go a long way as he is a dynamic young forward and fills the role they desperately need.
What do you think about the addition of Hachimura?