Lakers Trade Kendrick Nunn for $20 Million Forward: Report

Shaedon Sharpe and Kendrick Nunn

Getty Shaedon Sharpe and Kendrick Nunn

The Los Angeles Lakers are finalizing a trade sending point guard Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to the Washington Wizards for power forward Rui Hachimura, according to multiple reports.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the story.

Hachimura becomes a restricted free agent this summer. The Gonzaga product, who is averaging 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 2022-23 while shooting 48.8% from the field, 33.7% from beyond the arc and 75.9% from the free-throw line, has a qualifying offer worth $8.5 million. The Lakers, assuming they give Hachimura his qualifying offer, can match any deal the swingman signs with another team if he chooses to agree to an offer sheet from a rival organization.

Hachimura signed a four-year, $20.3 million rookie scale contract with the Wizards in July 2019. Washington drafted the forward with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 draft. Hachimura, who was born in Toyama, Japan, has career NBA averages of 13.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 47.9% overall, 35.6% on 3-pointers and 77.6% from the charity stripe.

Sports Illustrated Wanted the Lakers to Trade for Rui Hachimura

On January 21, Alex Kirschenbaum of Sports Illustrated wrote that the Lakers should try to acquire Hachimura. The Wizards started trade discussions with multiple teams centered on Hachimura on January 18, per Charania and Josh Robbins. Washington wants to clear cap space so it can re-sign former Lakers star Kyle Kuzma, who will enter free agency this offseason.

“Hachimura would add some floor-spacing at the four spot, but next to LeBron James could conceivably play some small forward,” Kirschenbaum wrote. “The 24-year-old is averaging 12.4 points on .480/.321/.768 shooting splits this year, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists, but he’s a career 35.3% shooter from long range and one would have to hope his three-point shooting could stabilize with a new club. It’s a bit of a risk, but he’s a talented young player with plenty of upside would could fulfill a need for LA.”

Hachimura has scored 30 points twice this season. He provides added frontcourt depth for the Lakers, who are 22-25 on the season, good for 12th place in the Western Conference standings. Hachimura missed both of the Wizards’ games this season versus the Lakers. Los Angeles won both contests.

Kendrick Nunn Averaged 6.7 Points With the Lakers

Nunn, who missed all of last season due to a bone bruise in his right knee, averaged 6.7 points and 1.4 rebounds with the Lakers. He becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. Nunn’s best game with the purple and gold came on January 6 against the Atlanta Hawks. The lefty finished with a season-high 23 points off the bench.

One NBA executive told Heavy Sports senior insider Sean Deveney on January 18 that Nunn was starting to gain traction on the trade market.

“He could help someone,” one executive told Heavy Sports. “But they need to show he is healthy. He’s got a very manageable contract ($5.25 million, expiring this summer) and they’re dying for size on that team. They’re not going to trade LeBron (James) or Anthony Davis obviously, so the best package they can put out there is Nunn and (Patrick) Beverley and one of their picks (in 2027 or 2029). Honestly, he is their best trade piece right now.”

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