The Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards completed a trade that sends fourth-year forward Rui Hachimura to Los Angeles in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks (in 2023, 2028 and 2029), the teams announced Monday. Hachimura is averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds this season and matched a season-high with 30 points against the Magic on Saturday.
The Lakers have been deep in trade talks across the league for virtually the entire season. They spent the offseason trying to find a new home for embattled point guard Russell Westbrook, and when that failed, they entered the season with a roster heavy on guards and light on wings.
Their unbalanced roster only grew more problematic as the season went on. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have both missed a meaningful amount of time, and both were essential in defending opposing forwards. Lately, standout role players Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV, who have also defended wings, have been out due to injury. This has forced the Lakers to use lineups featuring three, four, and against Dallas on Christmas, even five guards just to make sure that their best players are on the floor.
They’ve been seeking wing help on the trade market, but it typically doesn’t come cheap, and they have been hesitant to include their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in trades to find upgrades. From that perspective, Hachimura represents the perfect compromise.
Hachimura, now in the final season of his rookie deal after being picked No. 9 overall in 2019, missed much of last season for personal reasons and dealt with a bone bruise that forced him to miss games this season. Meanwhile, he has struggled to find his place on a Wizards team loaded with rotation-caliber players but lacking the sort of veterans that could help him develop into what Washington hoped for when he was drafted. Things came to a head over the weekend, when Hachimura said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be traded. “I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes…
Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/rui-hachimura-trade-grades-lakers-earn-high-mark-by-addressing-need-wizards-make-another-disappointing-move/
Author : Sam Quinn
Publish date : 2023-01-24 14:26:46
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