Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder was on his Twitch stream when he found out that Kendrick Nunn got traded to the Washington Wizards for Rui Hachimura on January 23.
Schroder, who is in his second stint with the Lakers, was shocked when he heard the news.
Schroder said on his stream that he would text both Hachimura and Nunn. The veteran guard has been traded three times in his career, so he knows how the business side of the NBA works.
The Lakers acquired Hachimura for Nunn and three second-round picks. Nunn, who missed all of last season due to a bone bruise in his right knee, averaged 6.7 points and 1.4 rebounds with the purple and gold in 39 games. The Chicago native becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Nunn’s best game with the Lakers came on January 6 against the Atlanta Hawks. The lefty finished with a season-high 23 points off the bench to help Los Angeles win by 16 points at home.
“Nunn was signed to the taxpayer’s mid-level exception in the summer of 2021 and missed his entire first season with the Lakers because of injuries,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on January 23. “He was in and out of the lineup this season because of inconsistent play, but had found a rhythm leading up to the trade, averaging 10.5 points on 47.4% shooting (35.3% from 3) in 11 games in January.”
Lakers Make Statement on Rui Hachimura Trade
The Lakers are “excited” about adding Hachimura, according to vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka. The Gonzaga product is averaging 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists this season while shooting 48.8% from the floor, 33.7% from beyond the arc and 75.9% from the free-throw line.
“We are excited to welcome Rui and his family to the Los Angeles Lakers,” Pelinka said. “Adding both size and depth to the wing position has been a goal, and the chance to accomplish that by acquiring a player with Rui’s two-way skills and upside was an opportunity that doesn’t present itself often. We want to thank Kendrick Nunn and his family for his time as a Laker, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
Hachimura has career averages of 13.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He becomes a restricted free agent this summer and the Lakers would like to re-sign him, per Wojnarowski. Hachimura’s qualifying offer is $8.5 million.
“Los Angeles acquired Hachimura with the intention of signing him to an extension this summer, sources said. Hachimura can be a restricted free agent,” Wojnarowski reported. “The Lakers believe that Hachimura gives them another sizable wing defender who has shown an ability to make corner 3-pointers and midrange shots when teams run the Lakers off the 3-point line. He has shot 40.8% on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers over the past two seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, and is shooting 35.1% on catch-and-shoot 3s over the course of his career.”
Rui Hachimura Expected to Eventually Start for Lakers
Hachimura will eventually join Schroder, LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the Lakers’ starting lineup, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on January 23. James and Davis have started every game this season, while Schroder has started 30.
“The Lakers and Wizards discussed the deal for several days with draft compensation being the primary haggling point, according to league sources. The Athletic reported last week that Washington was exploring potential trade destinations for Hachimura,” Buha reported. “It’s unclear if Hachimura will start on Day 1, but the expectation is that he will start next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis once the rotation settles, multiple team sources told The Athletic.”
The Lakers will likely start Schroder, Lonnie Walker IV, Hachimura, James and Davis once Walker IV and Davis return to the lineup. Both players are currently injured.