The Los Angeles Lakers added valuable depth Monday with the trade for Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura.
Washington will receive Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks in the deal, with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski—who first reported the deal—providing additional details on the picks:
Los Angeles has been cautious about trading away its future first-round picks, having already dealt away the 2024 selection plus a pick-swap to the New Orleans Pelicans for 2023. The team still controls its first-round picks from 2026 going forward.
The team had a plethora second-round picks to deal and it gave away three of them in this trade. The squad still has its own second-round pick in 2023, two selections for 2024 and at least one in 2025, 2027 and 2028, via ESPN.
This deal provides some much-needed depth for a squad that has struggled with injuries this year. It helps strengthen the roster when fully healthy as the 22-25 squad tries to get back into playoff contention.
Projected Depth Chart
PG: Dennis Schröder, Russell Westbrook
SG: Patrick Beverley, Austin Reaves, Max Christie
SF: Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr., Juan Toscano-Anderson
PF: LeBron James, Rui Hachimura, Wenyen Gabriel
C: Anthony Davis, Thomas Bryant, Damian Jones
Injuries have caused some adjustments to the lineup, with Thomas Bryant filling in for Anthony Davis and Troy Brown Jr. starting for Lonnie Walker IV. Bryant has impressed when on the court, however, averaging 12.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
The strong play could allow Davis to play the 4 when he returns, allowing LeBron James to spend more time on the perimeter.
Hachimura now provides even more depth in the post, giving the team another reliable scorer after averaging 13.0 points in 30 games off the bench with Washington. The 2019 No. 9 overall pick showed his upside in his last game with 30 points on 13-of-22 shooting.
When the team is at full strength, Hachimura could be a key player in the second unit alongside Russell Westbrook and Austin Reaves. The Lakers would have a significant advantage for stretches of the game while providing James and Davis more time to rest on the bench.
If he plays well, the restricted free agent could be a key long-term addition for the Lakers.
In the short term, Lakers coach Darvin Ham could elect to use Hachimura in the starting frontcourt alongside Bryant and James until the team is healthy. The 24-year-old has been inconsistent as a shooter—he's shooting 33.7 percent from three this year after hitting 44.7 percent of his attempts last season—but his range could still help spread the floor for the other playmakers in the lineup.
Losing Nunn could create problems in the backcourt until Walker and Reaves return, but Max Christie should see extra minutes behind Dennis Schröder and Patrick Beverley.