Lakers-Wizards Trade Notes: Hachimura, Suns, Grades, More

The Lakers have an agreement in place to acquire forward Rui Hachimura from the Wizards for guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Hachimura was “unhappy” that he didn’t receive a rookie scale extension before the 2022/23 season started.

Sources tell Wojnarowski that the Lakers acquired the 24-year-old with the intention of re-signing him this summer. Hachimura will be a restricted free agent if Los Angeles tenders him a qualifying offer.

Here’s more on the Lakers-Wizards trade:

  • In an appearance on NBA Today (YouTube link), Wojanarowki said there were three-team trade talks on Sunday night that involved the Suns, but those obviously fell through.
  • Even though he will have a qualifying offer of about $7.74MM, Hachimura’s cap hold for this summer will be $18.8MM, and that will make it complicated for the Lakers to be a major player in free agency, writes Danny Leroux of The Athletic. If the young forward re-signs at a figure lower than $18.8MM, his first-year salary would immediately replace the cap hold, Leroux notes. That would give them more options, but nothing close to the roughly $30MM in cap space they were projected to have prior to the trade. If Hachimura struggles with the Lakers, they could also either renounce his rights by not tendering him the qualifying offer or pull the offer in order to sign a player they like more, Leroux adds.
  • Keith Smith of Spotrac views the deal as a “low-risk gamble” by the Lakers and a solid return for the Wizards. Smith writes that the Lakers will add about $3MM to their luxury tax bill with the trade, while the Wizards saved money and are now about $1.3MM away from the luxury tax due to the difference in salary between Hachimura ($6.26MM) and Nunn ($5.25MM). Adding three second-rounders and gaining financial flexibility should help Washington make future deals, Smith adds.
  • The size of Hachimura’s next contract, assuming it’s with the Lakers, will matter a lot in the view of Zach Harper of The Athletic, who didn’t love the trade for either team. Harper gave the Lakers a C-plus and the Wizards a C in grading the deal.
  • One of the Wizards’ goals in trading away Hachimura was not taking on future salary, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post, who tweets that the luxury tax could be looming next season. Nunn is on an expiring contract.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks provides his analysis of the trade (YouTube link). He likes the infusion of size and talent for the Lakers, but notes that Hachimura does have injury concerns — he only averaged 49 games played over his first three seasons. Marks doesn’t love the deal from Washington’s side, however. Not only is dealing away the former ninth overall pick an indictment of the team’s drafting ability, but the Wizards basically have to re-sign Kyle Kuzma in free agency now — otherwise they’ll have lost both forwards, Marks notes.
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