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

Rui Hachimura joined the Los Angeles Lakers squad as a savior in February this year. He came to the team when they were almost losing their grip on the season. The Lakers were about to miss out on back-to-back postseasons. There was a severe lack of balance, and many players were suffering from injuries. But right before the February trade deadline, the Lakers front office was able to do some successful deals. At the time, they traded Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to the Washington Wizards to acquire Rui Hachimura.

Hence, it is clear that the LA side is looking for a long-time contract with the Japanese player. This is because as soon as the February trade happened, the Lakers’ fortunes changed. They gradually rose up to the table and finally made the postseason. After losing 10 out of the first twelve games, who would have thought it was possible for a team to reach the conference finals? But with the trade, many new heroes emerged other than LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who took the franchise to the Western Conference Finals. Among them, Rui Hachimura shined really bright during the playoffs. However, it looks like the Lakers will not be able to retain their star player for the next season. Why is that? Keep reading to find out.


Lakers May Find It Tricky To Keep Rui Hachimura In The Offseason

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

After coming to the Los Angeles Lakers, Rui’s averages went significantly up, especially during the Round 1 series against the Memphis Grizzlies. For a couple of games in that series, Rui Hachimura was the top scorer for the Purple and Gold. Throughout the playoffs, he was able to impress the fans and the front office with his consistency and expert three-pointer shooting. Hence, there is no doubt that the LA franchise would like to keep him in the offseason. Along with Austin Reaves, Hachimura is a restricted free agent in the offseason as well.

Unlike them, D’Angelo Russell, who was pretty impressive in the regular season, is an unrestricted free agent. However, he failed to live up to the expectation during the conference finals. Hence, it would be easier to make a decision around trading D’Lo in the offseason for the Lakers. But the two restricted free agents, Reaves and Hachimura, might actually get contract extensions. However, it won’t be easy for the Lakers to keep Hachimura because, like Reaves, he has raised his stakes, too, after the wonderful season. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, if another NBA team offers Hachimura $20 million a year for three or maybe four years, it will get tricky for the Lakers. Although the Lakers are fully interested in keeping Rui Hachimura as much as they want Austin Reaves.

The Japanese Man Likes The Lakers

Screenshot 2023 06 16 at 7.18.03 PM
Rui Hachimura Darvin Ham Lakers Source: Sports Illustrated

In the regular season, Rui Hachimura was averaging around 9.0 points, but in the playoffs, that went up to 12.0 points. Hence, if he stays with the Lakers for the next season, it might possibly become his breakout season. Moreover, Hachimura previously mentioned why he wanted to leave Washington Wizards. It was because he was looking for a team that values him and where he is happy. On ESPN’s Hoop Streams, he stated, “The Los Angeles Lakers are such a team that showed interest in me, and we had a crazy season as we reached the WCF.” Hence it is clear as crystal that the Japanese player is more than willing to stay with the Lakers squad only if he gets a proper contract.