Along with guard Kendrick Nunn, the Lakers are trading the Bulls’ 2023 second-round pick, their own 2029 second-rounder and the less favorable of their 2028 second-rounder to the Wizards to finalize a trade for forward Rui Hachimura, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
From the sounds of things, the deal is in its close stages and will soon only need approval from the league office, viewed as a formality/.
Hachimura, 23, is 6-foot-8 is averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 30 games this season, shooting 49 percent from the field. He was selected by the Wizards out of Gonzaga with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
He will offer the Lakers a young and seemingly up-and-coming frontcourt rotation player who can either back up or start alongside the likes of team stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis (when healthy). Given the improved play of center Thomas Bryant, the Lakers’ frontcourt is suddenly versatile and experienced, with a nice mix of youth.
In other words, the deal appears to be a steal for Lakers GM Rob Pelinka. But perhaps not so much for GM Tommy Sheppard and the Wizards.
“Why do you rush to make that trade if you’re the Wizards?” a rival scout said in a text to Hoops Wire. “I know for a fact they can do better than (what the Lakers are offering) for Hachimura.”
Nunn, 27, is 6-2 and has been a bit player for the Lakers since arriving ahead of the 2021-22 season. He missed all of last year with an injury, and is averaging 6.7 points on 41 percent shooting in 39 appearances this year.
This becomes the second notable trade between the Lakers and Wizards in recent years, with Los Angeles landing guard Russell Westbrook from Washington back on July 21, 2021.
The best season of Hachimura’s four-year career came in 2020-21, his second in the league, when he averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 57 games. He is not far off from that type of production today.
Sources: Lakers are sending the 2023 Chicago second-rounder, their own 2029 second-rounder and the Wizards/Lakers less favorable second-rounder in 2028 in the Kendrick Nunn-for-Rui Hachimura trade.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 23, 2023