Rui Hachimura
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rui Hachimura, a rising star in the NBA, has gained attention for his impressive skills and versatility on the court with the Los Angeles Lakers. He arrived via trade towards the last stretch of the season and immediately left a mark. Hachimura was an active member of the new-look Lakers. The group led the team to the conference finals in the 2022-23 NBA season.

Meanwhile, Rui Hachimura is set to enter free agency this Friday once the off-season commences. He is likely to stay a hot pick as multiple rival teams are likely to rally behind him. However, the Lakers remain keen on retaining him. Regardless, the team will have to cash out heavy money to keep Rui in the fold. Amid this, the power forward had made a bold move that will further up his stakes in the free agent market.


Lakers Rui Hachimura To Snub FIBA, Wants To Solely Focus On Shaping NBA Career

Rui Hachimura
(Picture by 2021 Getty Images)

The Lakers, one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, have always been an attractive destination for players. The team’s winning tradition, strong fan base, and the opportunity to play alongside superstars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis make Hollywood an appealing choice for many players seeking championship success. Hence, a young Rui Hachimura, who made a name with his short stint with the team, intends to extend his stay in Hollywood. He will enter free agency, but the Lakers are still hesitant with his contract offer.

Meanwhile, Rui Hachimura has taken the matter into his own hands. He had made a bold move to convey his passion and seriousness for NBA. Japan Basketball Association reporter Yoko Miyaji recently revealed that Hachimura would not represent Japan in the upcoming FIBA World Cup. The forward had decided to snub the tournament to devote his focus to NBA preparations. The move is reportedly meant to show Rui’s commitment to the Lakers and the NBA. He also expects his stakes to go higher in the free agent market with the latest move. While there is no guarantee that the move will work, Hachimura has finally received his due after grinding for five seasons. Hence, he does not want this opportunity to edge past.

Rockets To Poach Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves In Free Agency

Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves

Retaining young talents like Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves is a top priority for the Los Angeles Lakers in the upcoming free agency. However, they will meet competitive rivals on the way. The recent name popping up in the rumors market is Houston Rockets. As per Houston Chronicle, the Rockets have eyes set on both Hachimura and Reaves, along with many other players.

This rumor comes after a report surfaced that the Rockets might trade James Harden to the Lakers for Austin Reaves. Also, Houston is a young team which makes Hachimura and Reaves perfect free-agency candidates. However, the purple and gold are committed to landing the duo at any cost. Hence, the Rocket’s dreams are unlikely to come true in the foreseeable future.