The Los Angeles Lakers have to act fast and experts advised them to trade for a young forward. Alex Kirschenbaum from Sports Illustrated was among the first to say that Rob Pelinka has to trade for Washington Wizards power forward Rui Hachimura.
“Hachimura would add some floor-spacing at the four spot, but next to LeBron James could conceivably play some small forward,” Kirschenbaum detailed. “The 24-year-old is averaging 12.4 points on .480/.321/.768 shooting splits this year, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists, but he’s a career 35.3% shooter from long range and one would have to hope his three-point shooting could stabilize with a new club. It’s a bit of a risk, but he’s a talented young player with plenty of upside would could fulfill a need for LA.”
Lakers to trade for the talented forward
Washington is interested into trading the 24-year-old. They have received some offers and yes, the Lakers could be a potential landing spot for Hachimura. Shams Charania and Josh Robbins from The Athletic reported that Washington has already started trade negotiations with several NBA teams.
The young forward will become restricted free agent after the regular season. Hachimura is averaging 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while going 48.8% from the field, 33.7% from beyond the arc, and 75.9% from the free-throw line this season. The Gonzaga product has attracted the attention of several NBA teams.
The Lakers have a chance to get Hachimura. CBA rules allow them to trade guard Kendrick Nunn and a future draft pick to Washington in order to get Hachimura.
“What would it cost the Lakers to acquire Hachimura? For salary-matching purposes, LA could dangle the expiring $5.3 million contract of underwhelming 6’2″ veteran bench point guard Kendrick Nunn, who because LA has too many point guards has been forced to play way too many minutes at shooting guard,” Kirschenbaum discussed this in his column. “The real question is, what level of future draft equity would Los Angeles offer Washington in addition to Nunn? Is Hachimura worth a lottery-protected first-round pick? Would Washington instead accept multiple second-round draft selections that, if LA’s performance this year is any indication, could be pretty high?”
Nunn has been a common trade target over the years. He is averaging 6.8 points and 1.3 rebounds while going 33.1% on the three-point line. The Lakers can trade him for Hachimura and improve their roster in multiple ways.