out of nowhere on monday, Lakers finally pull the trigger with Rui Hachimura trade, sending Kendrick Nunn and a trio of second-round picks. This is a move that will have ripple effects throughout the league, not just within the Lakers, as it could mark the unofficial start of the trade season.
These are the focus of today’s reports and headlines.
Step right into the line-up
The Lakers’ Hachimura trade only came at the cost of addressing the pressing need for wing size that the roster had long had and the added bonus of clearing out a crowded backcourt. Despite Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis being demoted to the bench, Hachimura is expected to be in the starting line-up in Los Angeles. Jovan Buha athletic (emphasis mine).
Soon to be 25, Hachimura has the size (6ft 8,230lbs), length (7ft 2 wingspan) and athleticism the Lakers desperately need on the frontcourt. His ability to play in either forward his spot helps balance the positional structure of the roster. It’s unclear if Hachimura will start on Day 1, but he’s expected to start next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis once the rotation settles, multiple team sources told The Athletic.
Hachimura’s presence can alleviate some of the burden on LeBron James in having to play as the team’s only true forward and wing, both of which are welcome additions. Given the set, the frontcourt of LeBron, Hachimura and Anthony Davis allows the latter to continue playing center without sacrificing space. This is a luxury that this team does not have.
There are concerns about Louis’ biggest weakness defensively, but hopefully he can turn that around while offsetting some of the losses defensively with what he can bring to the table offensively. And with many 3-guard and 4-guard lineups, Lakers teams need someone taller than 6-foot-4 on the wing.
Are Cam Reddish’s feet cold?
A by-product of Hachimura’s trade is The contract with Kam Reddish is much lowerNunn, along with Ronnie Walker IV, is one of two contracts that could have been brought out in a one-for-one trade with Reddish.
While there are still trade conspiracies that could work, the Lakers seem to have opted for the Louis trade over the Reddish trade and moved on from the latter. Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus.
the lakers new york knicks Over a year on Cam Reddish, that door hasn’t quite closed, but it’s unlikely.
before trading on Monday Dan Woike LA Times Some shared similar sentiments that the Lakers weren’t convinced Nunn’s trade to Reddish was a definite upgrade.
Reddish is a better size and fits Tsubasa’s true needs, but there’s no consensus in-house that he’ll be an upgrade.
There is another reason not to sign the deal, which may be the stronger argument for the Lakers. If the Lakers trade nans for Reddish, they can’t trade nans in packages with someone who is much more likely to make the Lakers more of a threat.
It may not have always been an either/or decision for the Lakers, but having been presented with both opportunities, knowing the price of each, and studying the prospects, the choice of Hachimura over Reddish is a strong one. It’s their call, and it probably makes sense.
Louie’s big payday?
The Lakers have already made their intentions clear when it comes to Louis’ future. I traded him with the idea of agreeing to a deal this summer. and keep him for the long term. However, the numbers that both parties agree on can be controversial.
Hachimura’s cap hold is worth $18.8 million this offseason, which most feel is well undervalued for his upcoming contract. However, in the same article on Pincus, Rui and his camp head to Free his agency in hopes that it will be a realistic starting point for his next deal (emphasis mine ).
Hachimura is in the final year of his contract, but the Lakers acquired him in hopes of bringing him back. He becomes a restricted free agent and occupies his $18.8 million of potential cap his space on the team unsigned. For Hachimura, the expected room drops from his just over $30 million to about $13 million.
And Hachimura appears to be seeking a contract within the capholdAs such, the Lakers are unlikely to be a big player in the July cap room market.
For now, I feel like this is just an agent’s way of talking and negotiation tactics. Realistically, given his career before moving to the Lakers, it’s unlikely the team will pay him $18.8 million a year on a long-term deal.
Also, there’s no reason Rui and his agents wouldn’t make that starting point. It would be bad business if they said, “Actually, we think he’s worth $15 million out of his 10 million.” Let him play the rest of his season in Los Angeles before worrying about free agency or contract negotiations.
Hornets begins operations
One final notable nugget that isn’t specifically related to the Lakers, but is worth noting is Charlotte’s situation. Going into Tuesday night’s contest, the Hornets were seated 13-35 from him, with the play-in putting him 10 games from the race and 1.5 games away from his spot at the top of the draft draw.
So it’s no surprise that they look ready to start tanking. Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein The team reported that they were not open to discussing the deal.
But Utah is open to hearing trade pitches for rosters other than Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler, and Charlotte is similarly open to Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and Kerry Oubre Jr. Hornets, who believe LaMelo Ball is right now. Prioritizing his lottery standings after suffering his third ankle injury of the season.
The Lakers have relationships with many Hornets players, Perhaps most notably Terry RozierPatrick Beverly and Russell Westbrook are still tradeable contracts and their first round picks are available, so a deal could be possible. Even if the Lakers and Charlotte aren’t linked in some discussion.
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