Kendrick Nunn

Wizards Notes: Wright, Nunn, Morris, Gill, Unseld Jr.

While Delon Wright was recovering from a severely strained hamstring, he was able to notice how much the Wizards need him, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The numbers back up his observation — Washington is 13-6 with Wright in the lineup, but only 7-20 when he doesn’t play. He’s especially been a difference-maker on defense, where the team’s rating is 6.0 points better with him on the court.

“Once I had seen that I have that type of impact on the game, it made me more confident. It made me feel more welcome here,” Wright said. “A lot of times when you get to a certain team, they will say that you can do certain things. But even if you’re doing it, you still might get subbed or might not have your minutes as much as you want. Here I feel like I’m playing a decent amount of minutes and my role is enormous.”

It’s a rare feeling for Wright, who is with his seventh team in the past five seasons. He’s being used as a backup, starting just one of the 19 games he has played, but he’s having a significant impact in his 20.9 minutes per night, leading the league in steals per 36 minutes.

“I actually signed (with the Wizards), so that means a little more than getting traded for,” Wright said. “I feel the most confident I’ve been with an organization since I was in Toronto (from 2015-19).”

There’s more on the Wizards:

  • Kendrick Nunn had a strong debut for Washington on Wednesday in his first game since being acquired from the Lakers in the Rui Hachimura trade, notes Bijan Todd of NBC Sports Washington. Nunn expected to have a larger role in L.A. after signing with the team in free agency in 2021, but a knee injury prevented him from playing last year and he was averaging just 13.5 minutes per night in 39 games this season. He played 22 minutes in his first game with the Wizards and helped spark a comeback with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. “I just wanted to come in and impact winning,” Nunn said. “Play hard, be aggressive, be myself and just impact winning.”
  • Monte Morris has provided the type of leadership at point guard that the Wizards were hoping for, but that may made him of the team’s best trade assets heading into the deadline, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post. General manager Tommy Sheppard doesn’t plan to blow up the team’s core, Wallace adds, but more roster moves are likely coming.
  • Anthony Gill has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will miss tonight’s game in New Orleans, Wallace tweets.
  • In an interview with Wes Hall of NBC Sports Washington (video link), coach Wes Unseld Jr. talks about the challenges he has faced midway through his second season with the team.

Lakers Rumors: Hachimura, Reddish, Beverley, Bogdanovic

The Lakers and Wizards discussed the Rui Hachimura trade for several days before reaching an agreement, with the level of draft compensation serving as the primary sticking point, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers were originally exploring the trade market to see what they could get for Kendrick Nunn and two second-round picks, and could have landed Knicks forward Cam Reddish for such a package. However, Los Angeles preferred Hachimura and ultimately reached a compromise with the Wizards – who originally sought a first-round pick for the former lottery selection – by adding a third second-rounder.

Hachimura is expected to command an eight-figure annual salary as a free agent, sources tell Buha, and Fischer has heard similar rumblings, writing that the current expectation is that the forward’s price will be around $10MM per year. That figure could increase though if Hachimura emerges as the Lakers’ third-best player behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis down the stretch though, Fischer acknowledges.

Either way, if the Lakers hope to re-sign Hachimura, which sounds like the plan, his new deal will significantly cut into the cap room they’ll be able to create this summer.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • It’s unclear if Hachimura will start immediately, but the expectation is that he’ll be part of the starting five once he gets acclimated and the rotation is settled, Buha writes. The former Wizards forward could make his Lakers debut as early as Wednesday, tweets Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.
  • With Davis on track to return in the near future, the Lakers want to continue evaluating their roster to determine whether to use their remaining assets to make a minor or major roster upgrade, according to Buha. While the team is willing to do something more substantial, the most likely move at this point is dealing Patrick Beverley and a lottery-protected first-round pick for a wing or frontcourt player, Buha adds.
  • Although the Lakers continue to be frequently linked to Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic, there’s a gap between how the two sides view his value. League sources tell Buha that Detroit is seeking at least an unprotected first-round pick, while L.A. is thus far only willing to give up a lottery-protected first-rounder.
  • In a column for The Los Angeles Times, Woike says the acquisition of Hachimura is a smart, sensible move for the Lakers, even if it’s not a blockbuster. Zach Kram of The Ringer is underwhelmed by the move, arguing that Hachimura is a “single-dimensional scorer” and a subpar defender who won’t move the needle on L.A.’s playoff chances.

Wizards Trade Rui Hachimura To Lakers

5:23pm: The Lakers have officially announced the addition of Hachimura in a press statement.

12:15pm: The agreement has been finalized, Wojnarowski tweets. The Wizards will receive the Bulls’ second-round pick this year, the Lakers’ second-rounder in 2029 and the least favorable of the Wizards’ and Lakers’ second-rounders in 2028.

The Lakers had acquired the Wizards’ 2028 second-round pick in a prior trade.

11:42am: The Lakers are in advanced talks to acquire Rui Hachimura from the Wizards, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The price will be guard Kendrick Nunn and multiple second-round picks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports that L.A. offered Nunn and two second-rounders to Washington on Friday, but the Wizards turned it down in hopes of getting a first-round pick for Hachimura, who was drafted ninth overall in 2019 (Twitter link). An agreement was reached Monday when the Lakers added another second-rounder to their offer.

The trade is expected to be finalized this afternoon, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Specifics on the picks involved haven’t been released, but Bobby Marks of ESPN points out (via Twitter) that L.A. has seven second-rounders available, including its own and Chicago’s in this year’s draft.

Hachimura never developed into a star in Washington, but the 24-year-old forward has been a solid rotation player throughout his entire time with the Wizards. In 30 games this season, all as a reserve, he’s averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 48.8% from the field and 33.7% from three-point range.

The Wizards didn’t sign Hachimura to a rookie scale extension before the October deadline, so he’ll be a free agent this summer. The Lakers can make him restricted, giving them the right to match any offer he receives, by issuing a qualifying offer likely to be worth about $7.74MM.

Basketball reporter Marc Stein hears that Washington was willing to part with Hachimura because of increased confidence that the team will be able to re-sign Kyle Kuzma in free agency after he turns down his player option (Twitter link).

After signing with the Lakers as a free agent in 2021, Nunn missed his entire first season due to a knee injury. He has appeared in 39 games this year, making two starts, and is averaging 6.7 PPG in 13.5 minutes per night. The 27-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent in July.

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.

Lakers Notes: Davis, Nunn, James, Trade Deadline

Lakers star big man Anthony Davis had an encouraging practice session on Thursday, Dave McMenamin of ESPN tweets.

“He did jump in with the group today, did some non-contact stuff, pick-and-roll drills, a little offensive scripting,” head coach Darvin Ham said. “He’s looking good. Moving well. … Got a great sweat in [during an] individual workout … He’s progressing really, really, really well.”

Davis has a general timeline of early February to suit up again. He has been out since December 16 after suffering a stress reaction in the navicular bone in his right foot.

We have more on the Lakers:

  • Guard Kendrick Nunn is one of the most tradable pieces on the team, according to Sean Deveney of Nunn is on an expiring contract and could be part of a package for a frontcourt player. “He could help someone,” one executive told Deveney. “But they need to show he is healthy. He’s got a very manageable contract and they’re dying for size on that team.”
  • The Lakers have lost three close games over the past week and LeBron James laments how injuries have impacted the team, noting they have “zero room for error,” according to McMenamin. “We are limited with bodies,” James said. “So until some of our big guys or some of our key guys get back … we’ve got to continue to play how we’ve played the last couple games. Play mistake-free basketball.”
  • James has averaged 34.9 points while playing 37.8 minutes per game so far in January. Ham would like to reduce his aging superstar’s minutes, McMenamin writes in the same story. “He’s playing at an amazing level, but we can’t run him in the ground,” Ham said.
  • If the Lakers remain committed to chasing championships with Davis and James, they may be better off adding multiple role players prior to this year’s trade deadline, according to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. Even if they let all their projected free agents walk at season’s end, they might be priced out of the market for a top-level free agent while still having many roster spots to fill, as Gozlan explains.

Lakers Notes: Davis, Trade Market, LeBron, Bryant, Christie

The foot injury that Anthony Davis suffered last week has decreased the chances that the Lakers will gamble on a major trade, multiple sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic. He adds that the only exception would be if the team can acquire a young star that it believes can succeed alongside Davis over the next few years.

Even before the Davis injury, the Lakers’ front office wasn’t confident that there was a trade available that would turn the team into contenders, Buha states. He suggests the most likely current scenario is a deal that would include some combination of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and a protected first-rounder in either 2027 or 2029 in exchange for a 3-and-D wing or a combo forward.

Along with the players who have already been linked to the Lakers in trade talks, Buha’s sources point to the SunsJae Crowder, the RocketsEric Gordon, the PistonsAlec Burks, the HornetsTerry RozierP.J. Washington and Kelly Oubre Jr. and the SpursJosh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl as players to watch.

There’s more on the Lakers, all from Buha:

  • LeBron James has posted four straight 30-point games, but his playing time is starting to become a concern. He’s averaged 39.2 minutes over the past five games, and the Lakers need to be careful that they don’t rely too heavily on him. Buha notes that James, who will turn 38 next week, ranks sixth in minutes per game among players with at least 50 total games over the past two seasons.
  • The loss of Davis has been eased somewhat by the emergence of Thomas Bryant. Buha states that Bryant was considered “almost unplayable” before Davis got hurt, but he’s averaging 17.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in the last three games while shooting 61.1% from the field and 55.6% from three-point range. The 25-year-old center joined the Lakers during the offseason on a veteran’s minimum contract and will be a free agent again next summer.
  • Rookie shooting guard Max Christie recently moved into the rotation and may be playing well enough to stay there. The second-round pick provides a much-needed 3-and-D option for coach Darvin Ham, and he’s one of the best rebounders among the team’s guards.
  • The starting backcourt of Beverley and Dennis Schroder hasn’t performed well, and Buha wonders why Ham keeps playing them together. The Lakers are minus-50 in 161 minutes when they’re on the court at the same time, and their skills seem to be redundant.

Lakers Notes: Davis Injury, LeBron, Westbrook

The Lakers haven’t issued an official statement on the status of Anthony Davis, but a weekend report indicating he will miss at least a month with an injured right foot could alter the course of their season and their approach to the trade deadline, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

Specialists were still evaluating Davis as of Sunday night, and coach Darvin Ham suggested the team may release more information on the injury on Monday. L.A. is 12th in the West at 13-16 and is entering a tough part of the schedule with seven of its next eight games on the road.

Davis’ injury and how it might affect management’s approach to upgrading the roster were among the topics at Sunday’s post-game press conference.

“Not a question for me,” LeBron James said. “I have no idea. When I’m playing, I show up, prepare, go to work and get my guys ready to go win a basketball game. I play the game, I’m not in the front office, so we’ll see. But I’m focused on the game and us trying to win basketball games, especially when I’m out on the floor.”

As James left the media session, Buha adds, he told a reporter, “Go ask (general manager) Rob (Pelinka) those questions.”

There’s more from Los Angeles:

  • The Lakers are already facing inflated prices on the trade market as rival teams understand they’re under pressure to make a deal, reports Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. As an example, he states that the Jazz asked L.A. for a first-round pick in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic before the season began, but ultimately traded him to Detroit without getting a first-rounder in return. Pincus notes that the Lakers were “conflicted internally” about risking their future on any trade that didn’t make them an obvious contender, even before the Davis injury. If Davis is lost for an extended stretch, Pincus suggests L.A. might focus on smaller moves such as adding a free agent center (maybe DeMarcus Cousins) and seeing what it can get for Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and second-round picks.
  • James’ situation is unprecedented for a player of his age and talent, per Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated. Although he’s still performing at an all-NBA level as he nears his 38th birthday, James faces the prospect of another non-playoff season.
  • While Davis is sidelined, James will likely see some time at center, which was effective last season, according to Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. There will also be an increased focus on James’ pairing with Russell Westbrook, as Goon notes that with Westbrook’s move to a reserve role they have shared the court for just 17.2 minutes per game this season.

Trade Rumors: Bogdanovic, Fournier, Reddish, Beverley, Nunn

The Heat, Mavericks, and Hawks are among the many teams that have expressed trade interest in Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. However, Scotto says Detroit has been “unwilling to engage” in discussions involving Bogdanovic.

According to Scotto, rival executives with interest in the 33-year-old forward are hoping that the Pistons’ stance will change before the February 9 trade deadline, especially now that franchise cornerstone Cade Cunningham will miss the rest of the season due to shin surgery.

Even if the Pistons eventually throw in the towel on this season though, there’s no guarantee they’ll make Bogdanovic available. James L. Edwards III of The Athletic observed earlier today that Detroit signed Bogdanovic to an extension beyond 2022/23 with an eye toward keeping him around as the team attempts to contend for the postseason, not to improve his trade value.

With Bogdanovic now locked up through the 2024/25 season (the final year of his deal has only a small partial guarantee), the Pistons would have opportunities to trade him down the road if they don’t do so at the 2023 deadline.

Here are a few more trade-related rumors from around the NBA:

  • Following up on Shams Charania’s report about the Knicks and Lakers discussing Cam Reddish and Evan Fournier, Scotto says the Knicks initially engaged the Lakers to see if they’d have any interest in taking on Fournier in exchange for Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn.
  • Even though the Lakers like Reddish and have inquired on him multiple times within the past year, it’s unlikely that attaching him to Fournier would be enough to move the needle for L.A. in a Beverley/Nunn swap, Scotto writes. The Lakers can currently create approximately $30MM in cap room next summer, and Fournier’s contract (which includes an $18.9MM cap hit for 2023/24) would significantly compromise their flexibility.
  • Although several teams have some level of interest in Reddish, he’s viewed as more of a flier than a hugely valuable trade chip, according to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype. Given that Reddish will be a free agent in 2023 and is currently out of the Knicks‘ rotation, that doesn’t come as a surprise.
  • In case you missed it, we rounded up several trade rumors on Monday and passed along a few Pistons-centric rumors earlier today.

Lakers Considering Dealing Beverley, Nunn, Draft Picks

The Lakers are “leaning toward” trading “some combination of Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn and picks (one first-round and/or multiple second-round picks) for role players” in order to upgrade the rotation, multiple team sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

Going that route would still give the Lakers the flexibility to move Russell Westbrook and another first-rounder closer to the deadline, Buha writes.

The Lakers are still contemplating offering a Westbrook and pick(s) package to land a “star or multi-player haul,” according to Buha, but that option is considered less likely than a smaller deal involving Beverley and/or Nunn plus picks.

Buha reported earlier this week that the Lakers are looking to upgrade their perimeter shooting and size. Any deal(s) would likely occur after December 15, when most free agents signed in the offseason become trade-eligible.

Considering the Lakers have an excess of small guards on their roster and Beverley and Nunn are the only players aside from Lonnie Walker who aren’t on minimum- or maximum-salary contracts, it’s only natural that they might try to use them as trade chips. That’s especially true since both have struggled mightily in 2022/23 — Beverley is averaging just 4.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.7 APG and 0.9 SPG on .268/.234/.824 shooting in 15 games (27.1 MPG), while Nunn is averaging 5.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG and 1.3 APG on .364/.291/.889 shooting in 18 games (13.9 MPG).

It’s a little shocking just how poorly Beverley has shot the ball early on, since he’s a career 37.5% three-point shooter over 541 regular season games — his 23.4% mark is almost certain to rise with time. Similarly, Nunn shot 36.4% from deep in his first two seasons with Miami prior to missing all of last season with a knee injury, but he hasn’t looked right since he returned in 2022/23.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin suggested on Monday that the Lakers might dangle the expiring contracts of Beverley ($13MM) and Nunn ($5.25MM). Combining their salaries would allow the Lakers to take on up to $22.9MM in salary, since they’re in the tax.

Western Notes: Jokic, Hyland, Porter Jr., Paul, Fox, Lakers

Reigning Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Mike Singer of the Denver Post reports. The Nuggets center will miss at least Wednesday’s home tilt against the Knicks. Backup point guard Bones Hyland is also in the protocols.

The Nuggets a two-game set at Dallas after the Knicks game. Forward Aaron Gordon is listed as questionable to play on Wednesday due to a non-COVID illness.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone is pleased with the growth Michael Porter Jr. has displayed this season, Singer writes in a separate story. He has shown more discipline on the defensive end and his shot selection has improved offensively. “More important to me, deeper than the numbers, are the fact that offensively, like, I can count on one hand how many shots that he’s taken where you can say, ‘Probably not a great shot,’” Malone said.
  • Chris Paul hasn’t played since an abbreviated stint on Nov. 7 due to a sore right heel. The Suns point guard could be back in action on Wednesday. He’s listed as questionable to play against Golden State, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets.
  • Kings star guard De’Aaron Fox is switching agents and will be represented by Klutch Sports, Damien Barling and James Ham report (Twitter link). Fox was previously with Chris Gaston and Family First Sports Firm.
  • A trio of Lakers rehabbing from injuries — Thomas Bryant, Kendrick Nunn and Dennis Schröder — joined the G League’s South Bay Lakers for a practice and scrimmage Tuesday morning, Mark Medina of tweets. The Lakers recalled them after the practice.