The trade that is sending forward Rui Hachimura from the Wizards to the Lakers initially was discussed as a three-way trade that also involved the Suns, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
In the end, though, the Lakers and Wizards were able to pull off a deal that involved just the two of them, as Los Angeles is parting ways with guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks. (Full post.)
“There were some three-way talks that would have involved Phoenix,” Wojnarowski said on NBA Today. “But those larger trade discussions fell by the wayside. And then LA and Washington this morning zeroed in on the deal they ultimately landed on.”
Wojnarowski did not reveal who was involved in the Suns’ side of the talks, though it has previously been reported the Wizards were among those interested in available small forward Jae Crowder.
But it’s clearly a case of first things first for the Wizards, who decided not to extend the contract of Hachimura — something the Lakers intend to do. Hachimura will be a restricted free agent after the season.
“This is a player who wanted to be moved,” Wojnarowski said. “He did not receive a contract extension, on his rookie extension, this summer with Washington, and wanted to be finishing games. That wasn’t happening.
“I think for Washington, this is a chance for them to move on from Hachimura and get some draft capital, without taking salary back from the Lakers.”
As for the Lakers, Wojnarowski added that they now have landed a “wing player, wing defender … it’s a player they hope can help right away, and they certainly hope they can develop over time into the kind of player thought he could be when he was picked in the top 10.”
Hachimura, 24, is 6-foot-8 and was selected by the Wizards out of Gonzaga with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He is averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 30 games this season, shooting 49 percent from the field.
As for the Suns, it appears they remain hopeful of moving Crowder ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline — and are also open to dealing others if they feel it’s a trade that moves the needle, sources told Hoops Wire.
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