The Los Angeles Lakers are making a move ahead of the trade deadline. According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the Lakers and the Washington Wizards are in the final stages of a deal that will give former top-10 pick Rui Hachimura a change of scenery.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2023
The report was confirmed by Shams Charania of The Athletic, who brought word that the Lakers will send a collection of second-round Draft picks and one of the players who has long been mentioned as a potential piece in a trade, Kendrick Nunn, to the nation’s capital.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 23, 2023
The reported trade comes amid speculation that Hachimura was on the trade block in the lead-up to next month’s deadline. On Saturday night, Hachimura gave a no comment to the press when asked if he requested a trade before saying, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic, “I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes my game, you know? … I just want to be somewhere that trusts (and) believes in me and just (where) I can be myself. That’s my goal.”
Both teams are on the outside looking in on the play-in tournaments in their respective conferences. Washington is 20-26 and a game and a half back of the 10-seed in the East, while the Lakers are 22-25 and one game back of the final play-in spot in the West. On the year, Hachimura is averaging 13 points in 24.3 minutes per game while connecting on 48.8 percent of his attempts from the field and 33.7 percent of his attempts from behind the three-point line.