(AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers are acquiring former lottery pick Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and a package of second-round draft picks, a person familiar with the negotiations said Monday.
The person, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade has not been finalized and approved by the NBA, said the teams are working under the expectation that the deal will be completed later Monday.
Hachimura and the Wizards did not agree on a rookie extension before the season started, which prompted speculation that the Japanese power forward would not be in their long-term plans.
And it would make sense that the Lakers would be seeking help. At 22-25, they’re in 12th place in the Western Conference, but entered Monday just two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 6 spot and four games behind the New Orleans Pelicans for No. 4 in the West — with LeBron James averaging nearly 30 points per game and a belief that Anthony Davis will be back from injury sooner than later.
“I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player,” Hachimura told reporters last week. “And I want to be somewhere that likes my game. … I just want to be somewhere that believes in me and I can be myself. That’s my goal.”
Hachimura has appeared in 30 games for the Wizards this season, all off the bench, averaging 13.0 points on 49% shooting from the floor and 34% from 3-point range. He was the No. 9 picks in the 2019 draft.
Nunn is in his fourth NBA season, his second with the Lakers, although he missed all of last season with a knee problem. He has averaged 6.7 points in 39 games this season, 37 of them in a reserve role.