The Los Angeles Lakers traded for Wizards forward Rui Hachimura on Monday and our Sam Quinn gave the move an A- for L.A., if only because the Lakers didn’t give up either of their coveted first-round picks to get him.
Chances are, unless you’re a Wizards fan, you’re more familiar with Hachimura’s name than his game. Generally speaking, he has the 6-foot-8 and sturdy size that everyone wants in a defensive wing these days, and he can shoot. The former will help the Lakers as it would help anyone, specifically as it will take some of that defensive burden off LeBron James to cover for what is an incredibly small team.
But it’s the latter point that will determine how much of an impact he really makes for the Lakers, who are a bad shooting team that would greatly benefit from Hachimura catching a couple-month hot streak as they try to sneak into the playoffs.
There’s hope on this front. Hachimura made 44 percent of his 3s last season, but he’s down to 33 percent this season on pretty low volume. Where he’s been effective this season is in the midrange. He’s most comfortable showing at the 3-point line before putting the ball on the floor one or two times for a pull-up jumper, which he’s hitting at a 52-percent clip so far. He hit a bunch of these in a 30-point performance against Orlando on Saturday.
These shots are great and will help any team if the efficiency holds up. But the Lakers, who make the fewest 3-pointers per game in the league, could really use a version of Hachimura who doesn’t turn down so many of these catch-and-shoot 3s to move in a step or two closer. To me, Hachimura could legitimately double his volume from three 3-pointers per game to something closer to six.
In the play below, swap out Delon Wright for LeBron James sucking the defense into the paint and imagine how many of these 3-point looks Hachimura could get with the Lakers.
Yes, Hachimura has only made 33 percent of his 3s overall this year, but he’s a better shooter than that — likely somewhere between the 44-percent clip last year and this…
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Author : Brad Botkin
Publish date : 2023-01-24 14:43:00
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