Predicting where each Lakers free agent will sign this offseason

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - APRIL 16 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - APRIL 16 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers: Rui Hachimura
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – APRIL 16 (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Rui Hachimura – Los Angeles Lakers

The Rui Hachimura trade was a surprise for the Lakers when it happened, but it proved to be one of the moves that helped turn their season around. The youngster clearly needed a fresh start on a new team and took off once he landed in Los Angeles. He played some great basketball in these past playoffs and seems destined to earn a nice raise with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Keeping Hachimura will certainly be among the front office’s top objectives this offseason, as the forward proved to be a key cog last season. He’s a seamless fit with LeBron James and his running mate Anthony Davis; he’s more than capable of being a starter in this league.

At 25 years old, the former first-round pick still has plenty of room to grow and could do so in Los Angeles while also helping the team contend for another championship.

Keeping Hachimura, who is set to hit restricted free agency, will not be cheap for the Lakers, but it is extremely important. Per The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, the Lakers plan on matching any deal that is offered to Hachimura, which is smart. It’s a no-brainer to keep an ascending young role player who could be on the verge of a huge breakout from opening night next season.