NBA trade season is here! The deadline is February 9th, but we’re already seeing teams approach and even get offers.
On Monday, the Lakers and Wizards connected on a deal centered on forward Rui Hachimura.
Here are our ratings for completed deals. Note: This story will be updated, so keep checking back.
January 23: Lakers move to frontcourt and reportedly pay Wizards
lakers achieve: Rui Hachimura
wizards achieve: Kendrick Nunn, 2023 second-round pick via Bulls, 2028 second-round pick, Lakers second-round pick in 2029
Grade for the Lakers: B
This is an update for the Lakers. Hachimura, the No. 9 pick in the 2019 draft, is averaging 13 points per game on 48.8 percent shooting, so he could help spread the floor and give the Lakers another much-needed offensive weapon. But the Lakers really need a 3-and-D specialist and Hachimura is shooting 33.7 percent from beyond the arc this season, a significant drop from the impressive 44.7 percent he shot last season . Also, he’s not considered a standout defender, which is another area the Lakers need to address, considering they’re 20th in the league in defensive rating (113.8).
That said, the Lakers gave up very little in this deal, considering Nunn has been ineffective, averaging career lows this season in points (6.7), field goal percentage (40.6) and minutes (13.5). And perhaps most importantly, after hanging around the trade deadline last season, the Lakers are signaling to their stars that they will try to make some changes. Hachimura is only 24 years old and has a lot of upside. He’s a strong catch-and-shoot player who has shown he can make the 3, and he has the athleticism to become a strong defender.
Rating for Wizards: c
As for the Wizards, it’s clear that their priority is trying to re-sign Kyle Kuzma to a long-term deal. And after failing to agree to a rookie extension with Hachimura, it looked increasingly likely that things weren’t going to work out. The Wizards didn’t get much in return for Hachimura — they probably could have done better than Nunn and three future second-round picks in exchange for a recent top-10 pick. That said, Nunn was playing much better basketball before a knee injury sidelined him all of last season, so maybe a franchise change will serve him well. Plus, there’s still plenty of time before the trade deadline, so maybe the Wizards have Nunn and the picks in mind for another deal.
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