LOS ANGELES – After already making a big move two and a half weeks before the NBA trade deadline by acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards on Monday, Los Angeles Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka still emphasized the need to improve the roster.
“[We] we saw it as an opportunity to act quickly and address a need in the market that appeared to be a little slow,” said Pelinka on Tuesday before the Lakers hosted the LA Clippers, joining Hachimura in the initial meeting. [it] It does not mean that our work is finished: We will continue to evaluate the situation with the other 29 groups …
“Our job as a front office is always to look at improving our team now and in the future, and we felt like Rui was the best way to do that, and that’s why we did so well.”
Pelinka was asked if the Lakers were looking for additional business before the Feb. trade deadline. 9 include differences from the original 2027 and 2029 elections to complete the deal. LA was able to hold on to their picks in the Wizards trade, including Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks.
“I think the calculus of the Lakers is to win the championship or not. There is no center or more growth,” said Pelinka. “So when we analyze opportunities, we have to do it through the lens. And, I said this at the beginning of the season, if there is a chance to get to the end and win the championship, there are no resources.” keep going if we feel that there is.”
One of these commitments to compete is encouraged by LeBron James, who is now in his 20th season, who added two years with the Lakers at the end of the season – promising to be the darkness of his game as he seeks to extend his four-year career. all positions.
“The unwise thing to do would be to shoot a bullet early and then not get it later when you have the best race you can make,” Pelinka continued. “It’s a very delicate calculation and the whole front office, we try with all the moves. If we see a move that puts us as a leader to get another championship here, the 18th here, we will win. that move does not show itself, we will be smart and achieve it next time.”
Pelinka continued to distance himself from his previous role in front office decision-making, making sure that responsibility for every decision fell into his own hands — even after enlisting the help of team leaders in James and Anthony Davis.
“I think LeBron said it best in a press conference the other night when he said, ‘My job is to play basketball. The front office’s job is to do their job and make the roster. And Coach. [Darvin] Ham’s job is to teach.’ “I agree with that,” said Pelinka. This is how we work and will continue to work. “
Hachimura, 24, averaged 13.0 points on 47.9% shooting and 5.1 rebounds in four seasons with Washington since being drafted with the No. 9 to choose Gonzaga in 2019.
A native of Toyoma, Japan, Hachimura is the first Japanese-born player in Lakers history.
“I am very happy for this opportunity,” Hachimura said on Tuesday. “Of course, the Lakers are one of the biggest organizations. I’m very happy to be a part of this family, and I’m very happy to be back in LA.
“It’s so funny that when I was in college, I came here to a college game … and I was laughing at how this could be my house. So it’s really cool that it’s happening right now.”
Hachimura boarded a flight to LA on Monday and began a trip to the Lakers practice facility at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, to complete a workout and meet with team personnel and coaches.
He could play Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs, sources told ESPN. He will wear number 28.
“I’ve always been impressed with him,” Ham said. “A versatile, strong, athletic, talented young footballer who I am delighted to have the opportunity to add to our football team. I think he will bring a lot.”