Phoenix Suns, Indiana Pacers were also interested in Rui Hachimura before the LA Lakers traded

The LA Lakers made the first major move in the trade market by acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards. However, the latest rumors suggest the Lakers weren’t the only teams interested in Hachimura.

According to NBA insider Shams Charania, the Wizards started taking calls for Hachimura last week. Charnia revealed that alongside the Lakers, the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers were also close to getting the Japanese star.

“The three finalists for Hachimura, I was told, were the Lakers and the Pacers and Suns,” said Charania.

“The three finalists for Hachimura, I’m told, were the Lakers, plus the Pacers and Suns.” NBA insider @ShamsCharania Reports on the Wizards trading Rui Hachimura to the Lakers for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks.

The Indiana Pacers and Phoenix Suns have been rumored to be looking for upgrades before the trade deadline. Both teams were previously linked with John Collins, who may be overpriced.

Indiana is currently on a seven-game losing streak with Tyrese Haliburton out injured. Myles Turner’s future is in the stars and Rui Hachimura would have assured the Pacers.

Meanwhile, Phoenix would like someone to replace Jae Crowder in their roster. Crowder hasn’t played a single game this season after requesting a swap over the summer. The Suns were also plagued by injuries and Hachimura could have contributed for them straight away.

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In the end, the Lakers’ offer from Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks were enough for the Washington Wizards. Hachimura is expected to offer the Lakers size, depth and defense. They have the momentum to sneak into the playoffs and Hachimura will likely play a big role for them.

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The LA Lakers plan to sign Rui Hachimura for an extension

LeBron James and Rui Hachimura
LeBron James and Rui Hachimura

Rui Hachimura will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Hachimura and the Washington Wizards failed to secure an extension last summer, which may have contributed to his trade. If Hachimura signs another team’s offer sheet in the offseason, the LA Lakers have the right to adjust it.

However, it appears the Lakers have no plans to let Hachimura become a restricted free agent. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that the Lakers plan to sign Hachimura for an extension. The 24-year-old forward averages 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.3 minutes per game.

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Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka announced the trade Monday, praising Rui Hachimura’s size and two-way skills. He also thanked Kendrick Nunn for his contributions over the past two seasons.

As for Hachimura’s Lakers debut, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported that he will be examined on Tuesday. If all goes well, Hachimura will likely play his first game as a Laker against the San Antonio Spurs at Crypto.com Arena on Wednesday.

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Edited by Juan Paolo David


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