The Los Angeles Lakers trade for Rui Hachimura in a nutshell: what the deal means for the future

The Los Angeles Lakers have opened the unofficial trade season with the deal for Rui Hachimura. What does the Japanese bring to the Lakers and how will the deal affect the future?

The deal is dry and the Lakers reported completion in the evening local time via press release. The Lakers are giving up three second-round picks and guard Kendrick Nunn for Hachimura. Here is everything again at a glance:

The trade for Rui Hachimura at a glance

Lakers received received wizards
Rui Hachimura (F) Kendrick Nunn (G)
Second round pick 2023 (CHI)
Second round pick 2029 (LAL)
Second round pick 2028 (LAL or WAS)

What does Rui Hachimura bring to the Lakers?

On paper, it’s a low-risk deal for the Lakers for now. Hachimura fills a hole in the squad with his length. Alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James, he is the only forward with real forward greatness who is also a good play finisher, most recently seen on his 30 points against the Orlando Magic.

The trade creates a little more balance in the roster as the 24-year-old could also play alongside the two superstars once Davis is back in action. According to The Athletic is to start Hachimura. Nunn has improved recently, but with Russell Westbrook, Dennis Schröder, Austin Reaves, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker and rookie Max Christie, the Lakers have enough quantity (not always quality) in the guard positions to be able to get over his departure .

Coach Darvin Ham can play more flexibly and rely on larger lineups rather than the three or even four guard formations that are often used. Offensively, Hachimura brings some Shot Creation, especially from the middle distance. The threesome, on the other hand, does not fall reliably, but last year it was 44.7 percent (this season: 33.7, career: 35.6).

Another scorer alongside LeBron isn’t a bad thing, but Hachimura won’t be much help defensively. For a power forward who has decent wingspan and is also tremendously athletic, his steal and block numbers (0.4 each) are weak and with the exception of this season, the Japanese has been a big minus in terms of expanded metrics .

Lakers: The roster after the trade for Rui Hachimura

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small-Forward power forward center
Dennis Schroeder Austin Reaves Rui Hachimura LeBronJames Anthony Davis
Russell Westbrook Lonnie Walker IV Troy Brown Jr Juan Toscano Anderson Thomas Bryant
Patrick Beverly Max Christie Venyen Gabriel Damien Jones

How does the trade affect the Lakers’ offseason?

If you’re trading for an upcoming restricted free agent, you’ll probably want to hold on to it. It is therefore not surprising that several media outlets unanimously report that the Lakers want to work with the 24-year-old beyond the season. The Japanese rakes in around $6.3 million this season and his arrival actually affects the finances for the offseason.

Before the trade, the Lakers had an opportunity to dig up to $35 million for the summer. However, Hachimura will have an 18 million cap hold, blocking this opportunity. Of course you can let the winger go again, but then you would have just thrown three second-round picks out of the window.

According to The Athletic If Hachimura would like to rake in at least $10 million annually going forward, that would at least give the Lakers some leeway. The money would then no longer be enough for a star, but there is hardly a player who lives up to this description this summer anyway. Kyrie Irving has been linked to a move to LA before, but that wasn’t really expected even before this trade.

Lakers: Will more trades follow?

That is still not excluded. According to Jake Fisher (Yahoo Sports) the Lakers were negotiating a Cam Reddish trade with New York prior to the Hachimura deal. Nunn and two second rounders were reportedly bid, but no settlement was reached. Now, while some second-round picks are gone, the Lakers still have assets left.

These are primarily the two first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, with Beverley, Walker and Westbrook three players who earn more than the minimum this season can also be involved. When in doubt, such players can always be thrown into a deal to make the salaries match.

Bojan Bogdanovic’s name is still floating around but the Pistons want a first rounder for the 33-year-old Croatian. But as we wrote in our trade preview, the Lakers can use any player who is at least NBA average. At least they got one of those with Hachimura.

What does the trade mean for the Wizards?

It was no surprise that Washington let Hachimura go. In the offseason, it was not possible to agree on a contract extension with the Japanese, and the 24-year-old lost his place in the starting five for good this season. The Wizards have other priorities, on the wing they are called Kyle Kuzma, Deni Avdija or Kristaps Porzingis if Washington wants to play big.

The main goal of the offseason remains the extension of Kuzma, who will be out of contract in the summer as he can get significantly more on the open market than the 13 million player option he holds. However, should Kuzma make it clear that he does not want to stay under any circumstances, a trade is likely to follow, even if Washington blocks requests for Kuzma within the NBA.

Nunn, on the other hand, is unlikely to play a role in the Wizards’ plans and could be passed on again soon. Even a veteran like Will Barton isn’t currently part of the rotation, he should still be well above Nunn in the pecking order. Barton should also be a trade candidate in the coming weeks.

The Washington Wizards roster at a glance

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small-Forward power forward center
Monte Morris Bradley Beal Kyle Kuzma Kristaps Porzingis Daniel Gaford
Delon Wright Will Barton Corey Kispert Deni Avdija Taj Gibson
Kendrick Nunn Johnny Davis Anthony Gil Isaiah Todd Vernon Carey Jr.

Leave a Comment