The Los Angeles Lakers made a notable move on Monday in their quest to earn a playoff spot by acquiring former lottery pick Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards.
The Lakers sent backup guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to Washington in exchange for Hachimura, their ninth overall pick of the 2019 draft. Wizards in October.
According to ESPN, the Wizards will take the Chicago Bulls’ 2023 runoff pick and the Lakers’ 2029 runoff pick, as well as the less favorable 2028 runoff pick from the Washington and Lakers.
Hachimura is averaging 13 points and 4.3 rebounds in 30 games this season, and he beat Orlando on Saturday to hit a career-high 30 points in his final game for the Wizards.
The 24-year-old forward is a career three-pointer with a 35.6 percent rate and is expected to provide presence and defense in the perimeter for a seasoned Lakers team that entered Monday’s game 12th in the Western Conference, but they sit just two games behind. The sixth-place Los Angeles Clippers are in a tightly clustered race.
“We’re excited to welcome Rui and his family to the Los Angeles Lakers,” Rob Pelinka, the team’s vice president and general manager of basketball operations, said in a statement. “Adding both dimension and depth to the wing position was a goal, and the chance to achieve that by getting a player with Rui’s two-way skills and positive side was a chance that doesn’t come up very often.”
The Lakers were 14-21 and were near the bottom of the West standings on December 29, but have since won eight of the 12 and could soon recapture eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis from a foot injury that pushed him aside from the halftime. December.
Nunn signed a two-year, $10.25 million contract with the Lakers in August 2021 after averaging 15 points per game with the Miami Heat during his first two NBA seasons. The 27-year-old missed the entire last season with a knee injury and has averaged just 13.5 minutes in 39 games so far in 2022-23.
“Kendrick has demonstrated his ability to be a solid environmental threat, capable of providing an instant charge as a backup.” Wizards president Tommy Sheppard said in a statement: “He has proven to be a valuable addition throughout his junior career, most notably as a key role player in helping Miami (2020) make it to the Finals.”