WASHINGTON — Rui Hachimura was excused from Monday’s Wizards practice for personal reasons and now we know why. The former ninth-overall pick has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks, the team announced.
Official: We have acquired Kendrick Nunn and 3 second round picks in a trade with the Lakers.
Welcome to D.C. @nunnbetter_!
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 23, 2023
The news broke Monday and ends a four-year tenure for Hachimura in Washington. The Wizards drafted him out of Gonzaga and saw him thrive early as an All-Rookie selection, but have now parted ways with a focus on future draft capital.
The second-round picks will be in 2023, 2028 and 2029. The 2023 pick is via Chicago, 2028 will be the later selection between the Wizards and Lakers’ picks and 2029 will be from the Lakers.
Hachimura, 24, was a key bench player for the Wizards this season. In 30 games, he averaged 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 48.8% from the field and 33.7% from three.
Nunn, 27, comes to Washington having played in 39 games this season after missing all of last year due to a knee injury. He averages 6.7 points and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 40.6% from the field and 32.5% from long range.
Hachimura was the first draft pick made after the Wizards restructured their front office to promote Tommy Sheppard to general manager. Hachimura will now reunite in L.A. with a host of former Washington players on the Lakers including Russell Westbrook, Thomas Bryant and Troy Brown Jr.
The trade deadline is still weeks away on Feb. 9. For now, Hachimura leaves a rotation already down one frontcourt player with Kristaps Porzingis nursing a sprained left ankle.
That could open the door for Anthony Gill to play more as the backup power forward. Third-year forward Deni Avdija could also see his role increased, especially with his emergence as one of the team’s best rebounders.