The 2022-23 NBA season is officially over for the Los Angeles Lakers after LeBron James and company battle it out to compete against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.
Despite being swept by the Nuggets in four games during that series, the season was a success for the Lakers after a rollercoaster ride in the regular season and an impressive run in the postseason starting in the play-in tournament.
One of the reasons the Lakers were able to turn things around this year and get as far as they did in the playoffs was the addition of newcomer Rui Hachimura.
Before the Lakers sent Russell Westbrook packing in a blockbuster trade to bring in D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley, Los Angeles struck a deal with the Washington Wizards to bring in Hachimura, and at this point But, it looks like it was a steal.
The Lakers tweeted highlights of Hachimura during their playoff games against the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors and Nuggets on Friday.
Rui’s mid-range mastery: playoff version pic.twitter.com/BFxUH3ixW0
— Los Angeles Lakers (@lakers) June 2, 2023
With Hachimura’s performance during the playoffs, the 25-year-old moves into the summer with some leverage as he prepares to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
In 16 post-season games, Hachimura averaged 12.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, shooting 55.7% from the floor and 48.7% from beyond the arc.
Hachimura proved to be a valuable piece to the puzzle for the Lakers and once he becomes a free agent, with Los Angeles expected to retain his services for next season and beyond, he will certainly be among his most sought-after players. Will have his fair share of suitors.
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