Lakers may already have a LeBron James replacement in Rui Hachimura
Austin Reaves and Anthony Davis are currently the most heralded building blocks for the future of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise. With those two under team control looking ahead, LakerNation should not be overly anxious when it comes to pondering the future pilots of this aircraft. AD is already a bona fide superstar, and AR is well on his way to becoming one if he can continue developing at his current pace.
While each of them penciled new pacts this offseason to remain Lakers for the foreseeable future, neither of them is the type of big-bodied, versatile wing that LeBron James is. Luckily for the organization, Rui Hachimura was also retained this summer on a fair contract. Hachimura is never going to clone the levels of production that LeBron has, but it would be highly unfair to expect that of him or anyone.
He might not be the same point-forward type of wing that LeBron is, but Reaves, D’Angelo Russell (for now), and Gabe Vincent (also for now) should combine to offset the loss of playmaking that will accompany LeBron’s departure. While his ability to create for others may never come around (career 1.3 assists per game), he does appear to be turning a corner in the aspect of creating for himself.
If he can continue to expand his offensive game while sustaining his lowkey defensive malleability, Rui Hachimura will be a big part of the Lakers plans in the post-Bron era.