After months of rumors, the Lakers have finally made a trade to upgrade their roster. Here are our NBA Trade Grades for their deal to land Rui Hachimura.
Just a few days after a candid postgame interview seemed to indicate Rui Hachimura was frustrated in Washington, the Wizards have found him a new home. Shams Charania has reported the Lakers are finalizing a deal to send Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to the Wizards in exchange for Hachimura.
The Wizards still have several pieces that will draw interest at the deadline, specifically Kyle Kuzma, so this may just be the first move of many for them. For the Lakers, this is also likely just an opener to what could be a very active trade deadline.
Here’s who we see this deal for each side right now.
Lakers Trade Grade: B+
Even though we’re not giving them an A, this is still a huge win for the Lakers. They signal to LeBron James that they’re not just going to stand pat. They land a rotation player who has some skills that will actually be useful and they do it without sacrificing the other assets (Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley’s contracts, their two future first-round picks). Basically, this is an add-on deal, leaving them all the flexibility to still pursue something bigger over the next few weeks.
The only reason I don’t give this an A grade is that Hachimura isn’t exactly the kind of player the Lakers desperately need right now.
Wizards Trade Grade: C
Maybe I’m unfairly dinging the Wizards here for actually taking Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 Draft when he appeared to have real bust potential. Maybe there was something else going on behind the scenes that necessitated some urgency here. But Hachimura’s comments this weekend weren’t exactly inflammatory and it feels a little bit like selling short. Hachimura isn’t going to fetch a first-round pick from anyone but two or even one second-rounder and a useful rotation player seemed possible and might be a better fit for where the Wizards are right now.
Maybe this deal is the best illustration of Hachimura’s value, and honestly, it’s only a win for the Lakers because they gave up so little. But the Wizards still took four years to turn a top-10 pick into Kendrick Nunn and three second-rounders. Meh.
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