Rui Hachimura 0

Japanese player Rui Hachimura joined Los Angeles Lakers around February this year, replacing Kendrick Nunn. Even though they lost the WCF, the new team is everyone’s favorite in the Laker’s front office. They want to keep the core together for the next season. Moreover, the Gonzaga product impressed everybody in the playoffs. He was more or less good around the regular season. But Rui Hachimura got better in the postseason.

There were a couple of games when Hachimura led the side in scoring points. Hence, the front office decided to offer him a three-year contract extension worth $51 million. Moreover, Rui Hachimura proved that the Lakers’ trade for him back in the previous mid-season has been successful. On top of that, the trade seems to get better as the player, Kendrick Nunn, who the Lakers traded for Hachimura, may not play next season.


Rui Hachimura’s Trade Is Even Proving More Profitable For The Lakers

Rui Hachimura Austin Reaves Lakers
Rui Hachimura Austin Reaves Lakers Source: Bleacher Report

There is a chance that Nunn may move back to Greece. Olympiacos BC wants to sign Kendrick Nunn. They are willing to offer 5 million euros for two years to Nunn. But Kendrick Nunn has not replied to the Greek team’s offer. He is waiting for the NBA teams to give him a good offer. However, Olympiacos Piraeus has more players as options in case Nunn refuses. Therefore, Kendrick Nunn can return to the NBA. However, the shortage of roster spots is a major concern for him. If many teams had no interest in signing him, then there won’t be many options available for Nunn now. This situation for Kendrick Nunn shows why the Lakers traded him. He was not contributing enough for the LA side.

Kendrick Nunn had missed the first season for the Lakers, and after he returned to the roster, he had an awful time on the court. Hence, the Lakers are lucky to get Rui Hachimura instead. He turned out to be the fourth most important Laker in the previous playoffs. What makes Hachimura’s deal more profitable for the Lakers is the fact that they only paid Nunn’s salary match, along with trading two second-round picks and one second-round swap. Later, the Lakers traded Thomas Bryant to Denver Nuggets and got three second-round picks. Hence, in simpler words, the 17-time champions got Hachimura for free. That’s the reason why Nunn’s unavailability in the next six months makes the deal more profitable and more lopsided. 

The LA Side Had A Remarkable Season In 2022-23

Anthony Davis Austin Reaves Lakers
Anthony Davis Austin Reaves Lakers Source:

During the last mid-season, the Lakers went through the transition period they desperately needed to redeem themselves that season. The team had no balance, and many key players were not healthy. Anthony Davis was unavailable for twenty games on the trot since December due to a stress injury. Moreover, the Lakers had a hard time carrying on a winning streak.

Hence, a total culture change in the Laker’s locker room was necessary. That’s what the front office worked on. Later, they signed valuable players who brought stability and balance to the roster. The Lakers began to climb up from the 13th place on the Western Conference table. Later, what followed was a remarkable turnaround. Finally, they reached the Western Conference Finals