Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder was on his Twitch stream when he found out that Kendrick Nunn was traded from the Washington Wizards to Rui Hachimura on Jan. 23.
Schroder, who is on his second stint with the Lakers, was shocked to hear the news.
Schroder said on his stream that he would text both Hachimura and Nunn. The veteran guard has been traded three times in his career, so he knows how the business side of the NBA works.
The Lakers acquired Hachimura for Nunn and three second-round picks. Nunn, who missed all of last season with a bruised right knee bone, averaged 6.7 points and 1.4 rebounds in 39 games with purple and gold. The Chicago native will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Nunn’s best game with the Lakers came on January 6 against the Atlanta Hawks. The left-hander finished with a season-high 23 points off the bench and helped Los Angeles to a home win by 16 points.
“Nunn was signed by mid-level taxpayer exemption in the summer of 2021 and missed his entire debut season with the Lakers due to injuries,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Jan. 23. “He’s been in and out of the lineup this season from inconsistent play, but had found a rhythm that led to the trade, averaging 10.5 points on 47.4% shooting (35.3% of 3) in 11 Play in January.”
The Lakers are “excited” about the addition of Hachimura, according to Rob Pelinka, vice president of basketball operations and general manager. The Gonzaga product is averaging 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists this season while shooting 48.8% from the floor, 33.7% from beyond the arc, and 75.9% from the free throw line .
“We are excited to welcome Rui and his family to the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Pelinka. “Adding both size and depth to wing position was a goal and the chance to achieve that by winning a player with Rui’s two-way skills and advantages was an opportunity that doesn’t come along often. We want to thank Kendrick Nunn and his family for his time as a Laker and wish him all the best in the future.”
Hachimura has career averages of 13.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He’ll be a limited free agent this summer and the Lakers would like to re-sign him, Wojnarowski said. Hachimura’s qualifying bid is $8.5 million.
“Los Angeles acquired Hachimura with the intention of signing him for an extension this summer, sources said. Hachimura can be a restricted free agent,” said Wojnarowski. “The Lakers believe Hachimura gives them another great fullback who has shown his ability to take 3-pointer corner hits and middle-range shots when teams run the Lakers off the 3-point line. According to research from ESPN Stats & Information, he has shot 40.8% catch-and-shoot three-pointers over the past two seasons and has shot 35.1% catch-and-shoot three-pointers over his career.”
Hachimura will eventually join Schroder, LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the Lakers’ starting lineup, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported Jan. 23. James and Davis have started every game this season, while Schroder has started in 30 games.
“The Lakers and Wizards have been discussing the deal for several days, with the draft compensation being the main point of haggling, according to league sources. The Athletic reported last week that Washington is exploring potential trade targets for Hachimura,” Buha reported. “It’s unclear if Hachimura will start on Day 1, but he is expected to start alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis once the rotation has settled, multiple team sources told The Athletic.”
The Lakers will likely start Schroder, Lonnie Walker IV, Hachimura, James and Davis once Walker IV and Davis return to the lineup. Both players are currently injured.