After having announced that Taurean Prince would serve as the Lakers’ fifth starter, head coach Darvin Ham told reporters that he feels power forward Rui Hachimura will give the team more on the offensive end as a reserve, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Hachimura primarily came off the bench upon being flipped to the club in January. His offensive output was somewhat erratic during the regular season, but he put on a superlative shooting performance in the playoffs. The 6’8″ big man out of Gonzaga averaged 12.2 PPG on .557/.487/.882 shooting splits across 16 playoff games. He subsequently inked a lucrative new three-year, $51MM deal to remain in Los Angeles earlier this summer.
There’s more out of the Pacific Division:
- Imaging on the injured left calf of Kings big man Trey Lyles indicated a mild strain, per James Ham of ESPN 1320 Sacramento (Twitter link). Ham adds that the team is hopeful Lyles will be back soon, though he will be sidelined for at least a few days.
- After having survived the Warriors’ purging of some key young players, third-year lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are looking to have big seasons, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Both have performed well in the preseason for Golden State. “I’ve got to cut the turnovers down a little bit,” Kuminga said. “I’m working on it and watching film. We’re supposed to watch film with the coaches about the turnovers.”
- Thanks especially to his defensive fluidity, newly acquired Suns swingman Nassir Little has already impressed during his first preseason in Phoenix, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “You can put him on the team’s best player at multiple positions,” head coach Frank Vogel said. Vogel is hopeful Little can also contribute as a shooter. The 6’5″ forward connected on a career-high 36.7% on 2.9 looks per game from long range in 2022/23.