The NBA trade deadline this season saw the addition of some vital players to the Los Angeles Lakers team, including Rui Hachimura.
After the Los Angeles Lakers traded for him, Rui Hachimura had an immediate positive effect on the team. As a result, the Lakers are expected to attempt to keep the 25-year-old player when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype recently shared Hachimura’s anticipated demands during contract negotiations with the Lakers.
Rui Hachimura to prioritize money and years
“Rui Hachimura is expected to prioritize years and money in restricted free agency. After trading away three second-round picks to acquire Hachimura, the Lakers would seemingly have optical pressure to match a potential offer sheet, and they clearly value him as a player,” Scotto said.
During the upcoming summer, the Lakers can present a qualifying offer of $8,486,619 to Hachimura. Since Hachimura has proven himself as a valuable wing player for the Lakers, particularly in the absence of LeBron James, the team will undoubtedly be hesitant to lose him to another franchise.
Lakers should continue with Hachimura
Up until now, Hachimura has participated in 23 games for the Los Angeles Lakers, 9 of which he started. His current scoring average is 10.1 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 0.6 assists per game. It’s evident that Hachimura has the potential to be a beneficial member of the team in the coming years. Therefore, the Lakers could offer him a contract worth $12-$13 million for three years. If Hachimura is content with the terms of the offer, he can opt to remain with the Lakers.
If Hachimura is being unreasonable during contract negotiations and receives a better offer from another team, the Lakers can opt not to match it. In this scenario, Hachimura would be free to pursue his career elsewhere. Additionally, the Lakers will also have to handle the free agency situations of Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell in the upcoming season. Taking everything into account, the Lakers will be quite occupied in the summer with regards to keeping players from their present roster.
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