Rui Hachimura Lakers

Arnab Bose

NBA

REPORTS: Los Angeles Lakers Planning Rui Hachimura To Play The Sixth Man Amid Roster Setup?

The Los Angeles Lakers have been pretty successful in the current offseason. After the new recruits helped the 17-time champions turn the last season around for them, the front office was keen to keep the core together. Moreover, the LA side should take a lot of positives out of that season. They want to maintain the same balance and stability within the roster. That’s why the LA side retained Rui Hachimura for a $51 million worth of three-year deal.

It seems like the Gonzaga product will keep playing off the bench. He is a big bench strength for the LA Lakers. Moreover, Hachimura played an essential role in the playoffs to help the side reach the conference finals. The Lakers bought him from the Washington Wizards back in late January. He was a replacement for Kendrick Nunn on the LA side.

   

Rui Hachimura Might Suit Better As The Sixth Man

Rui Hachimura Lakers
Rui Hachimura Lakers Source: ABC7

The 6’8 forward was more impressive in the playoffs than in the regular season. He even guarded the two-time MVP and last year’s Finals MVP, Nikola Jokic, pretty well. Moreover, Rui Hachimura proved that he can be effective in the defense as well as in the offense. He was a legit scoring threat for the Lakers, especially in the iso situations. Some might suggest Hachimura is pretty eligible for a place in the starting lineup. He might be the choice for the center alongside Anthony Davis, whom the front office has been looking for.

However, the Gonzaga product might suit better as the Sixth man in the Lakers team. For instance, he can provide instant offense as he comes off the bench. Every team needs such a scoring punch off the bench. As a sixth man, Rui Hachimura can play more freely and easily. He won’t have to be a spectator around LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Austin Reaves. He faced a problem like that in the regular season last time. Moreover, Rui Hachimura can help LeBron James some time on the bench as a respite. The King is 38 years old, and he might need that.

Should D’Lo Get A Place In The Starting Lineup For The Lakers Or Off The Bench?

D'Angelo Russell Darvin Ham Lakers
D’Angelo Russell Darvin Ham Lakers Source: Fadeaway World

There is another concern for the Lakers as the place for D’Angelo Russell is still questionable. Moreover, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz is one of those experts who believe D’Lo is better suited to come off the bench than to have a place in the starting lineup. Greg Swarts prefers Gabe Vincent to start instead of Russell. Vincent is more steady as a point guard. The Lakers were in no position to make the playoffs almost at the end of the regular season in the 2022-23 edition.

But the front office was successful enough to acquire quality players like Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and so on, right around the February trade deadline. This new core brought a different culture that helped the team not only make the postseason but also reach the Western Conference Finals. Moreover, this young new group of players brought a winning attitude to the team that was missing earlier at the beginning of the season. Hence, the Lakers could not let these people go easily.