Former Wizards Trade Lottery selection Rui Hachimura Lakers


Several people familiar with the deal said Monday that the Washington Wizards have traded forward Rui Hachimura to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a host of draft picks.

The Lakers will send three future second-round draft picks and guard Kendrick Nunn to Washington for Hashimura. Picks include 2023 pick across Chicago, 2029 Lakers pick and which is the second-least favorite between the Wizards and Lakers in 2028.

24 years old Hashimura said on Saturday that he had no “comment” regarding the recent business speculation, and that he “just wanted…[ed] To be somewhere he wants me as a basketball player.”

Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said Hachimura did not train with the Wizards on Monday due to an excused personal absence.

Injuries and a mixed arrangement make it difficult to settle down for the NBA stars

Hachimura, a 2019 lottery pick, has struggled to fully thrive during his four seasons with The Wizards. After missing nearly half of last season due to a personal vacation, Hachimura was moved to the bench this season. He averages 13 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.3 minutes per game while shooting 48.8% from the field and 33.7% from depth.

The Wizards and Hachimura did not reach a contract extension agreement before the deadline last October. ESPN and The Athletic were the first to report on Hachimura’s trade.

The Lakers, the 12th seed to the West going into Monday, looked forward to trades all season after star forward LeBron James criticized the team’s roster build on opening night. With the Hachimura deal, the Lakers were able to add a player to a rotation without sacrificing one of their remaining first-round draft picks, which could be used to make additional deals before the February 9 trade deadline.

Hachimura would fill a clear need for Los Angeles, who have been seeking size and athleticism on the wing all season. The team was forced to use reduced-volume formations with star quarterback Anthony Davis sidelined with a foot injury, and recent injuries to Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reeves weakened their perimeter.

Hachimura’s defense has been his weak point throughout his career, but his 6-foot-8 frame and 230-pound weight offer an appealing blend of versatility and physicality.

If he excels at a change of scenery, the Lakers could make him a restricted free agent by making him a qualifying offer this summer.

For the Wizards (20-26), the move addresses overcrowding at the power forward position as the team sits 12th in the Eastern Conference. Unseld favorites include Daniel Gafford at center and Kristaps Porzingis up front, leaving Hashimura and third-year forward Denny Avdeja, a lottery pick in 2020, jockeying for minutes on the bench.

Rather than risk losing Hachimura to nothing in free agency, Washington reclaimed their recruiting assets without taking any additional salary in the future — key for the organization as it faces questions about whether it can keep two expensive starting players after this season in Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma. .

Kuzma said earlier this season He will not sign an extension with the Wizards And he’s become an important player for multiple teams as the February 9 trade deadline approaches, even as Washington indicated it intends to keep its third-leading scorer, according to several people around the league.

Porzingis can exercise his $36 million player option or become an unrestricted free agent. Complicating matters further, Bradley Bell will earn $46.7 million next season in the second year of his maximum five-year contract. Keeping all three players would cause Washington to pay a luxury tax, something owner Ted Leonis has only done once since taking over the franchise in 2010.

Bradley Bell’s return comes at just the right moment for Wizards

But finding a new home for Hachimura crossed one item off Washington’s to-do list.

The Wizards and Lakers are no strangers as business partners, having previously agreed to a 2021 deal that sent Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles. In Los Angeles, Hachimura is reunited with several of his former Wizards teammates, including Westbrook, with whom he developed close relationship in WashingtonThomas Bryant and Troy Brown Jr.

Nunn, 27, has yet to find a consistent and productive role with the Lakers this season after missing the 2021-22 campaign with a knee injury. The scoring-minded guard scored an average of 6.7 points while shooting just 40.6 percent overall and 32.5 percent from depth in 39 games. He’s in the final year of a two-year, $10.3 million contract and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

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