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Three reasons why Rui Hachimura and the Los Angeles Lakers are the perfect match | NBA news

Desperate for more size and depth at their wing positions, the Los Angeles Lakers have brought Rui Hachimura, a fourth-year forward from the Washington Wizards, into the mix in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks. Here are three reasons why it works…

1. The Lakers still can’t shoot threes

Cast your mind back to the opening month of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2022/23 campaign — or maybe don’t — and you’ll remember just how abysmal their perimeter shooting was.

Although there has been a slight improvement, they are still last in completed threes per game (10.3) and 26th in percentage (33.6).

There is an entire lane of offense that LeBron James and co just don’t take advantage of because they can’t and don’t have the necessary backup to access. With Rui Hachimura in the mix, that changes.

He’s not Stephen Curry, but he have made 40.1 percent of his triples over the past two seasons, making him a fairly effective sharpshooter given the state of the current Lakers setup.

While it may not lead to a wholesale transformation, it will help free up James to focus more on his drive in the paint.

2. A little bit of everything

If the Lakers are to defy the odds and get into the play-in tournament, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have Hachimura and his skill set to sprinkle the roster.

In fact, he not only offers youth to the team, but also frontcourt versatility, shooting and a stable defensive contribution. The 24-year-old averages 13 points per game. game where he scored a career-high 30 in his final game on the court, as the Lakers fell to their rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, on the same day.

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Highlights from the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers in Week 15 of the NBA season

As mentioned, Hachimura can also be pretty crafty on defense and serve as a backup power forward to ease the load on the recovering Anthony Davis and aging (though you wouldn’t guess it) James.

His aggressive physique and convincing runs down the paint will cause problems for other teams, he won’t be easy to ignore at 6ft 8in, nor will he be fun to mark.

The only element of concern is that his scoring can be inconsistent at times, and if there’s one thing the Lakers need, it’s constant support for their talisman to thrive. In this scenario, however, the reward almost outweighs the risk.

3. Cost saving is key

It was clear before even a single hoop had swung this season that the Lakers back office wasn’t going to make any preseason investments, resources were limited and they were going to let James and co fend for themselves. Really nasty stuff.

The fact that they only have two tradable first-round draft picks and yet plenty of expendable players, including Nunn, only made matters worse. The roster had depth, but all of the wrong kind, and there was also nothing exciting to draw from their G-League affiliates.

Bringing in Hachimura has been a completely different transaction, as revealed in a press conference on Tuesday – one less unused player to deal with and a very convincing striker brought into the game.

Moves like these can make or break a financial season, and the franchise certainly needs that to work in their favor, at least before a possible summer raid or rebuild.

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