All that talk about the Los Angeles Lakers once again being stagnant ahead of the NBA trade deadline? Up in smoke. According to Shams Charania, the Lakers have agreed to trade for Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards.
In order to acquire Hachimura, the Lakers are sending point guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to Washington. Here are the official details of the completed trade.
- Los Angeles Lakers receive: Rui Hachimura
- Washington Wizards receive: Kendrick Nunn, CHI 2023 2nd round pick, LAL 2029 2nd round pick, WAS/LAL 2028 2nd round pick (whichever’s a worse pick heads to WAS)
While this move is far from a blockbuster, and it’s unlikely to spark the Lakers toward a playoff push, it does help balance the roster. But what exactly can LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the rest of the Lakers roster expect to get out of Hachimura?
Los Angeles Lakers take a chance on Rui Hachimura’s potential
After being born and raised in Japan, Hachimura took his talent stateside to attend college at Gonzaga. He spent three seasons with the Bulldogs, leading Gonzaga in scoring as a junior as he improved his draft stock. The following year, Hachimura was the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Becoming just the second Japanese-born player to be drafted into the NBA, Hachimura posted a double-double in his rookie debut. While Hachimura battled common inconsistency issues seen from a 21-year-old, he did manage to make the All-Rookie team.
Hachimura’s role stayed the same in his second season, where he started 57 matches and averaged 31.5 minutes per game while scoring 13.8 points per contest. While he entered the league as a talented, yet raw prospect needing to improve, Hachimura has largely been the same player he was when he was drafted four years ago.
- Rui Hachimura stats in 2022-23: 13 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 48% FG, 33% 3PT
Still, as is, Hachimura can chip in ten-plus points per game, and he has the ability to go off every now and then, as he did on Saturday, scoring a season-high 30 points.
Just 24 years old, Hachimura is a 6-foot-8 power forward who will likely come off the bench in Los Angeles. He’s also set for restricted free agency this summer, giving the Lakers a chance to see how he handles himself on a trial basis before deciding whether he’s a good fit for their future. But getting a chance to learn from LeBron James should be seen as a major plus for this young prospect.