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The Los Angeles Lakers add reinforcements around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
According to multiple reports, the team is in talks to trade Kendrick Nunn and second-round picks to the Washington Wizards for Rui Hachimura:
Adrian Wojnarowski @warspn
The Lakers traded Hachimura with the intention of signing him for an overtime this summer, sources tell ESPN. Hachimura can be a restricted free agent. https://t.co/TAdM1h8iAH
The Wizards’ willingness to trade the young power forward has been prompted by Kyle Kuzma’s excellent play and the team’s hopes it can sign him to a long-term contract in the off-season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and NBA reporter Mark Stein.
In addition, the Wizards could not agree with Hachimura on a rookie deal extension before the October deadline, making him a restricted free agent after the 2022–23 season. While the Wizards could have matched any offer sheet he signed, it made sense to trade him now and focus their offseason on keeping Kuzma.
Hachimura, 24, made 118 starts for the Wizards in his first three seasons, but is coming off the bench exclusively for the team this campaign. He’s still prolific, averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from three.
While both James and Davis can play the 4 and Hachimura doesn’t dramatically improve the team’s floor distance or 3-point shooting, he will add another great body on the wing, a need for the Lakers.
In addition, Nunn has largely been a non-factor and the Lakers seem to be confident in Hachimura’s potential in what may only end up being a cheap rent. At the very least, he’s expected to have a lot more impact than Nunn.
Kevin O’Connor @Kevin O Connor NBA
It’s hard to judge young players in losing situations with star teammates who don’t lift anyone to the next level. But there have been enough flashbacks over the years to remain intrigued by Rui Hachimura’s potential, so I look forward to seeing how he performs with the Lakers alongside LeBron James. https://t.co/Y9LNP3Ym1B
Hachimura will seem happy to change locations.
“I just want to be somewhere that I want to be a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that I love my game,” he said. told reporters Saturday.
It seems that his wish has been granted.