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Lakers trade for Rui Hachimura gets stamp of approval from NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson


The Rui Hachimura trade gets the thumbs up from Lakers legend Magic Johnson.

Los Angeles got trade season began on Monday by acquiring Hachimura from Washington. In return, the Wizards received Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks for the previous lottery pick.

Johnson said that Hachimura goes to “really help the Lakers on each ends of the court,” adding that his length and size will make a difference defensively.

Laker Nation, Rui Hachimura goes to essentially help the Lakers on each ends of the court. He’s averaging 13 points and his length and size will help us on the defensive end!

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 24, 2023

MORE: LeBron and the Lakers deserve more respect in West’s playoff race

Hachimura appeared in 30 games with the Wizards this season, posting averages of 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.4 steals on 48.8 percent shooting from the sector. He tied his profession high of 30 points in his final game in a Wizards uniform.

The Sporting News’ Gilbert McGregor gave the Lakers a B grade for the trade. While Los Angeles may have to navigate Hachimura’s free agency within the offseason, McGregor believes the move “appears like a precursor to others and is a step in the fitting direction” for the franchise.

TSN’s Steph Noh took a better have a look at how Hachimura suits specifically with LeBron James. Hachimura’s defensive shortcomings aren’t as problematic next to Anthony Davis, Noh writes, and while he hasn’t been a knockdown 3-point shooter thus far of his profession, there’s reason to consider he will likely be one next to James.

More from Noh:

Hachimura wasn’t getting a ton of those open looks with the Wizards. The team was ranked twenty eighth in percentage of wide open 3’s generated on the time that the trade news broke, partially because they’ve had below-average point guard play throughout his tenure. This season, Delon Wright has passed the ball probably the most to Hachimura. Last 12 months, that player was Ish Smith. 

Hachimura goes from those two mediocre playmakers to LeBron James, among the finest passers of all-time. LeBron will get Hachimura the highest-quality looks that he has ever had in his profession.

Hachimura won’t play against the Clippers on Tuesday, but he could make his Lakers debut on Wednesday.

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