It’s official: Lakers acquire Hachimura from Wizards for Nunn, second-round picks
It’s official: The trade first reported this morning has been agreed to and the trade call with the league is complete. The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Rui Hachimura in a trade with the Washington Wizards for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks, the teams confirmed.
“We are excited to welcome Rui and his family to the Los Angeles Lakers,” Lakers GM Rob Pelinka said in a statement. “Adding both size and depth to the wing position has been a goal, and the chance to accomplish that by acquiring a player with Rui’s two-way skills and upside was an opportunity that doesn’t present itself often. We want to thank Kendrick Nunn and his family for his time as a Laker, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
“I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes my game.”
The Lakers like Rui Hachimura’s game.
Hachimura said the above quote when asked about trade talks swirling around him, and now it looks like the Lakers are about to deal for him. Multiple reports have the Lakers near a trade to acquire the 6'8" wing from the Wizards for Kendrick Nunn and multiple second-round picks. Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN were first.
The trade is expected to be finalized Monday afternoon (the sides reportedly agreed on the Wizards getting the Bulls’ 2023 pick that the Lakers controlled, the 2029 Lakers second-rounder, and the less favorable of the Lakers/Wizards 2028 second-rounders).
This is the kind of move around the margins that the Lakers have been looking at — they didn’t surrender any key players or picks, and they get a solid player who fills a position of need but doesn’t mess with their salary cap space next summer (although they will have to re-sign him if they want to keep him).
Hachimura has been a solid reserve in Washington, averaging 12.4 points per game (although shooting just 32.4% from 3 he is much better on catch-and-shoot 3s, shooting better than 40% over the past two seasons), and he is a plus defender. He is a restricted free agent this summer, but with the trade the Lakers have his Bird rights, so they can make whatever splashy moves they can with a potential $30 million in cap space and then re-sign Hachimura to go over the cap.
This isn’t a move that vaults the Lakers up the standings, but it should improve them. Hachimura provides some frontcourt depth behind LeBron James and next to Anthony Davis (who is nearing a return later this week), Thomas Bryant and Wenyen Gabriel.