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The Los Angeles Lakers are adding reinforcements around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
According to multiple reports, the team is in talks to trade Kendrick Nunn and a second-round pick to the Washington Wizards for Rui Hachimura.
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
The Lakers traded Hachimura with the intention of extending his contract this summer, sources told ESPN. Hachimura can become a restricted free agent. https://t.co/TAdM1h8iAH
The Wizards’ willingness to trade the young power forward was fueled by the good play of Kyle Kuzma and the team’s hopes of signing him to a long-term deal in the offseason, ESPN reports. Adrian Wojnarowski and NBA Reporter Mark Stein.
Additionally, the Wizards were unable to reach an agreement with Hachimura on a rookie contract extension by the October deadline, making him a restricted free agent after the 2022-23 season. The Wizards could have matched any offer sheet he signed, but it makes sense to trade him now and focus on keeping Kuzma in the offseason.
Hachimura, 24, started 118 games in his first three seasons with the Wizards, but has only appeared on the team’s bench this season. He’s still productive, averaging 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 48.8% field goal percentage, and 33.7% 3-goal percentage.
Both James and Davis can play four, and while Hachimura won’t dramatically improve the team’s floor spacing or three-point shooting, it will add another big body to the wing the Lakers need.
Plus, Nunn is largely a non-factor, and the Lakers appear to be relying on Hachimura’s potential.
Kevin O’connor @Kevin Noconnor NBA
It’s hard to judge a young player in a losing situation with a star teammate who won’t let anyone get promoted. I’m looking forward to seeing how he performs next to me with the Lakers. https://t.co/Y9LNP3Ym1B
Hachimura seems happy to change locales.
“I just want to be where they want me as a basketball player, and where they love my game. told reporters Saturday.
It seems that the wish has come true.