Trading for Rui Hachimura Could Signal the Lakers' Offseason Plans (Plus, Lakers vs. Clippers!)
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The Lakers made the first notable trade of tradin' season Monday, acquiring Washington forward Rui Hachimura for three second round draft picks, plus guard Kendrick Nunn. We covered a lot of what Hachimura brings to the table in a special bonus episode of the podcast Monday afternoon, but to summarize:
- Hachimura brings much more balance to the rotation, providing a wing who can score and much needed size in the place of a guard (Nunn) who won't play once Lonnie Walker and Austin Reaves return.
- The price to acquire Hachimura was pretty low for a team that has multiple second-round picks.
- Hachimura has been disappointing in Washington, but that franchise has been very unstable and not very competitive on the floor, which can definitely limit a young player's development. In LA, Hachimura won't have the pressure of bein ga lottery pick. he's just a dude here to play a role. Context matters.
- LeBron makes a lot of guys better, if they can figure out how to play with him.
Now, it's a chance to look at what the trade means for the Lakers going forward, and what it implies about Rob Pelinka's strategy going forward. Hachimura is a restricted free agent this summer, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Lakers made this deal with the intention of keeping Hachimura around. That would require a new contract, which would eat into the $30 or so million the Lakers are slated to have available to them this offseason. It means the Lakers would be looking to fill out the roster around Anthony Davis and James, rather than taking a "big swing" at a star.
Important developments, at least in theory.
Meanwhile, Tuesday is Lakers vs. Clippers, and on to preview this very, very important game between two teams that have struggled this season to meet expectations and are only a couple games apart in the standings is Darian Vaziri. Host of Locked on Clippers, plus DimeDropper on YouTube, he helps get everyone up to speed on what's going on with the Clippers, how the Hachimura trade could impact the W.C. playoff race, whether the Clippers are likely to get the games they need out of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George...
...and what to watch in tonight's game.
HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky with guest, Darian Vazini!
SEGMENT 1: What the Hachimura deal signals about the team's plans this summer.
SEGMENT 2: Lakers vs. Clippers: What's going on with the LAC? Are they finally getting things together?
SEGMENT 3: What to watch for in Tuesaday's game. Who guards Kawhi? How critical is the battle between starting centers?
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