The Los Angeles Lakers have finally pulled off an NBA trade after months of speculation. However, it was probably surprising to most considering the name of the player they got was not among the leading names the NBA club had been linked to.

In a report by the Associated Press, the Lakers have acquired Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and a package of second-round draft picks according to sources, on Monday, Jan. 23.

It will be recalled that the 9th overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft did not come to terms with the Wizards about a rookie contract extension. This prompted speculations that the Japanese power forward would not be in the long-term plans of Washington.

“I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player,” Hachimura said to 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.”

The deal makes sense for the Lakers who appear to be showing signs of life. They are currently in 12th place in the Western Conference and are just two games behind their crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers for the sixth spot.

The coming of Hachimura also gives the Lakers added wing defense as well as three-point shooting. It also comes at a time when the purple and gold is trying to stay afloat with Anthony Davis still out nursing an injury.

“Adding both size and depth to the wing position has been a goal, and the chance to accomplish that by acquiring a player with Rui’s two-way skills and upside was an opportunity that doesn’t present itself often,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said.

Before the trade, Hachimura was averaging 13 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 30 games.

For Nunn, the move may allow him to regain his bearings and deliver the numbers expected from him. He was unable to show much in his injury-plagued tenure with the Lakers.

Ironically, he joins a former Laker in Washington in the person of Kyle Kuzma.

Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

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