The Lakers could realistically trade Rui Hachimura
The idea of the Lakers trading Rui Hachimura is absolutely ludicrous right now. Hachimura is coming off of a fantastic postseason in which he was the most reliable bench scorer on the team. That is what earned Hachimura a three-year, $51 million contract with LA.
In a perfect world, Hachimura will continue to develop in LA to the point where the Lakers physically cannot trade him. At that point, Hachimura would become one of the best bargains in the entire sport for Los Angeles.
But as every NBA fan should know, a perfect world is not real and it isn’t a guarantee that Hachimura is going to succeed. After all, Hachimura had an up-and-down career before joining the Lakers and if he never got the NBA Playoffs spotlight his salary would be half of what it currently is.
The Lakers likely won’t ever trade Hachimura by himself but his contract figure is an important one if the team wants to make a bigger trade. Hachimura and Russell together combine to match up with some significant contracts. If the front office is getting pressure to get a third star then Hachimura will undoubtedly be shopped.
The hope is that the front office learned from the Russell Westbrook trade and won’t trade quality depth for a superstar that does not even fit well on the team.