Rui Hachimura Darvin Ham
Rui Hachimura Darvin Ham Lakers Source: Sports Illustrated

Rui Hachimura joined the Los Angeles Lakers last February and became a fan favorite very soon. The Japanese player helped the Lakers reach the conference finals. It has been a season of ups and downs for the franchise and also for its fans. Last year, the 17-time champions could not even make the postseason. On top of that, they had a terrible start to this season.

The Lakers did not look like a team worthy of winning a championship. They had no balance in their roster but multiple injury concerns. Hence, the Lakers fans almost gave up their hopes of seeing their favorite team make the postseason this time. But after the February trade deadline, the LA side looked balanced. And among the newly acquired players, Rui Hachimura played a crucial role in transforming the season for the LA side. He generally came off the bench but was very lethal with his three-pointers. And despite having the option to move to another team this offseason, Rui wants to stay with the Lakers, where he is happy at present.


Rui Hachimura Wants A Team Where He Is Happy

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Rui Hachimura Rob Pelinka Darvin Ham Lakers Source : Fadeaway World

In the playoffs, Rui Hachimura was at his best, playing an essential role in beating the Memphis Grizzlies in Round 1. However, coming to the conference finals, he was not very effective. And anyway, the Denver Nuggets blew the LA side away 4-0. Hence, the season came to an end for the Lakers even with a miraculous turnaround from mid-February. Now the franchise and the players are heading toward the offseason, and many players will be free agents this offseason. Hachimura is one of them, and he will be a restricted free agent along with Austin Reaves this summer.

But the fans would not want the Japanese to leave so soon. Rui Hachimura also mentioned that he likes the Lakers. In a recent interview with Hoop Streams of ESPN, he mentioned, “I want to be at a place where I’m happy. I had a great time with the Lakers. The playoffs were pretty good. We’ll see what happens.” Apparently, Rui does not have a different answer to the question of why he wanted a trade out of the Washington Wizards. He had mentioned, “I just want to be with a team that appreciates me as a basketball player.” He also noted that he wants a team that believes in him and his abilities.

Hachimura Performed Pretty Well For The Wizards As Well

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

The Japanese had a pretty good season with the Wizards as well this season before he moved to the Los Angeles Lakers. The gentle giant averaged 13 points in 30 games for the Wizards. However, coming to the Lakers, especially in the playoffs, there was a notable increase in his efficiency and productivity.

Hence, like Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura too has increased his demand and will easily find any team where he is happy and willing to give him a good offer. But if he is happy in the Lakers and the feeling is mutual, then he might want a better deal from his current franchise to stay there. Moreover, the Lakers would not want to trade Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves.