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Lakers News: Rui Hachimura Traded to LA from Wizards for Kendrick Nunn, 3 Draft Picks

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 23, 2023

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Rui Hachimura #8 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the third quarter of the game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 2023 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are adding reinforcements around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The team traded Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to the Washington Wizards for Rui Hachimura:

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

OFFICIAL: Welcome to the Purple &amp; Gold <a href="https://twitter.com/rui_8mura?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rui_8mura</a> <a href="https://t.co/LantgWYa1K">pic.twitter.com/LantgWYa1K</a>

Jovan Buha @jovanbuha

Rui Hachimura is officially a Laker: <a href="https://t.co/SKjN4rSOOK">pic.twitter.com/SKjN4rSOOK</a>

The Wizards' willingness to trade the young power forward was prompted by the excellent play of Kyle Kuzma and the team's hope that it can sign him to a long-term contract in the offseason, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and NBA reporter Marc Stein.

Additionally, the Wizards weren't able to agree with Hachimura on a rookie-deal extension before October's deadline, making him a restricted free agent after the 2022-23 season. While the Wizards could have matched any offer sheet he signed, trading him now and focusing their offseason on retaining Kuzma made sense.

Hachimura, 24, made 118 starts for the Wizards in his first three seasons but exclusively came off the bench for the team this campaign. He was still productive, averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from three.

While both James and Davis can play the 4 and Hachimura doesn't dramatically improve the team's floor spacing or three-point shooting, he'll add another big body on the wing, a need for the Lakers.

Plus, Nunn was largely a non-factor and the Lakers are seemingly banking on the potential of Hachimura in what may only end up being a cheap rental. At the very least, he'll be expected to offer far more of an impact than Nunn.

Kevin O'Connor @KevinOConnorNBA

It's hard to judge young players in losing situations with star teammates who don't elevate anyone. But there have been enough flashes over the years to remain intrigued by Rui Hachimura's potential so I look forward to seeing how he performs with the Lakers next to LeBron James. <a href="https://t.co/Y9LNP3Ym1B">https://t.co/Y9LNP3Ym1B</a>

Dave DuFour @DaveDuFourNBA

Absolutely worth a free test drive with Rui Hachimura for the Lakers. <br><br>Costs them zero and he's RFA this summer.

Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet

Lakers got Rui Hachimura for a surprisingly low price, and that may mean Kyle Kuzma is off the table now. Truly weird stuff from the Wizards unless they're convinced Kuz will re-sign, and he sounded pretty ready to test UFA last we heard…

Hachimura seemingly will be happy to change locales.

"I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes my game," he told reporters Saturday.

It would appear he was granted that wish.