Rui Hachimura, Cam Reddish, Gabe Vincent

Los Angeles Lakers were planning to kick off the free agency signing and re-signing quality players on the first day. Indeed they had a great first day. It is evident that the team is pushing for a championship next season. Apparently, the Lakers came pretty close in 2022-23 to win the title from nowhere. But they lost their way in the Western Conference Finals against the eventual champions. This time, the 17-time champions would not like to repeat the same mistake. Hence, they are putting all effort they can in the offseason and are focused on maintaining the same core that helped the team to reach the WCF.

The two stars of the team – LeBron James and Anthony Davis, have a year more in their contract. But there were many key players like Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell who were heading toward free agency. However, Hachimura and Reaves performed really well in the conference finals for a losing cause. Hence, it was essential for the Laker’s front office to find alternatives and try to re-sign these key players. And looks like the Lakers succeeded on the first day of free agency. The front office has reportedly signed with Rui Hachimura for a three-year contract worth $51 million.


Rui Hachimura Will Stay With The Purple And Gold For Another 3 Years

Lakers GM Coach And Rui Hachimura
Rui Hachimura Rob Pelinka Darvin Ham Lakers Source : Fadeaway World

It is evident that re-signing the midseason recruit Hachimura was well on the cards. The Japanese performed better in the playoffs than in the regular season, as he always came off the bench. Hence, the Lakers have been planning to keep a strong reserve player for a long time now. Perhaps next season, the 6’8 Gonzaga man can find a place in the starting lineup. In 33 appearances with the squad after coming in midseason, Rui Hachimura averaged 9.6 ppg and 4.7 rpg coming off the bench. But his average got better in the playoffs, with 12.2 points per game. Moreover, he shot 48% from beyond the arc.

As he shined in the playoffs, the Lakers extended his qualifying offer with $7.7 million for the next season to make him a restricted free agent. On the first day of free agency, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Lakers extended his contract for another three years. Moreover, the rival teams estimated his contract between $12-18 million per year. Although, after the Lakers took the first step to retain him with the extension of the qualifying offer, there was not much bidding war going to happen for the Japanese. Hence, he was not a hard man to catch anyway. Moreover, it is a step forward to what Rob Pelinka and the front office believes in.

Lakers Believe In Keeping The Core Together

Cam Reddish
Getty Images

The Lakers General Manager has made it clear that their concept this time is to keep the core together. Hence, the fans and the front office would hope the Japanese to contribute even better if he can in the next season. After the first day of free agency, the Lakers have used a lot of their cap space, as much as $172.24 million, the first tax apron level.

On top of that, the Lakers have signed players like Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, and Taurean Prince. According to sources, the Lakers have signed a three-year contract with Vincent worth $33 million. Moreover, the Lakers have signed a contract worth $4.5 million with Prince for a year. Adding to that, the LA side signed a two-year agreement with Cam Reddish for the minimum salary with a player option for his second season.