LOS ANGELES – After making a big move 2½ 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 stressed the urgency of improving the roster.
“[We] “We felt like it was an opportunity to strike early and address the need in a market that’s been a little slow,” said Pelinka, who joined Hachimura for an introduction before the Lakers lost to the LA Clippers 133-115 on Tuesday. news conference. [it] It doesn’t mean our work is over, we will continue to monitor the situation with the 29 teams. …
“Our job as a front office is always to look to improve our team now and in the future, and we felt like Rui was the right way to do that, and that’s why we brought him up early.”
Pelinka was asked if the Lakers are pursuing additional deals that extend through February. 9 includes parting with the franchise’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to complete the trade deadline deal. LA was able to grab the picks in the Wizards trade, sending Kendrick Nunn and three future second-round picks to Washington.
“I think the Lakers’ calculation is whether or not to win a championship. There’s no in-between or incremental growth,” Pelinka said. “So we have to put that lens on when we’re looking at opportunities. And I said this at the beginning of the season, if there’s an opportunity to go all the way and win a championship, there’s no source we’re going to use. If we feel it’s there, we’ll stay.”
Part of that determination was motivated by LeBron James, now in his 20th season, signing a two-year extension with the Lakers in the paint — the twilight of the original when he committed to French, still looking to add to his four. Career topics.
“The absolute unwise thing is to shoot early and not do it later when you have a better championship run,” Pelinka continued. “It’s a very rough calculation and it’s something the entire front office is evaluating with every move. If we see a move that puts us as the front-runner to win another 18th championship here, we’ll make it. And if that move doesn’t manifest itself, we’ll be smart and do it later.”
Pelinka also continued to distance himself from his previous position regarding the decision-making process in the front office, making it clear that the responsibility for each decision falls in his lap – even if he wants input from the leaders of the team in James and Anthony Davis.
“LeBron said at a press conference the other night, ‘My job is to play basketball. The front office’s job is to do their job and build the roster. [Darvin] Ham’s job is to train.’ I agree with that.” Pelinka said. “We all have to do our jobs and do them better and we all have to be united. This is how we work and continue to work.
Hachimura, 24, averaged 13.0 points on 47.9% shooting and 5.1 rebounds in four seasons with Washington against the No. They picked 9 out of Gonzaga in 2019.
A native of Toyama, Japan, Hachimura is the first Japanese player in Lakers history.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” Hakimura said Tuesday. “The Lakers are definitely one of the greatest organizations. I’m very happy to be a part of this family, and I’m very happy to be back in LA.”
“It’s funny, when I was in college, I came here for the college games … and I was joking about how this is going to be my home. So now it’s great.”
Hachimura took a red-eye flight to LA on Monday and began the check-in process at the Lakers’ practice facility at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, completing a physical and meeting with staff and coaches.
According to Hamm, he will be ready to play against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. He wears a number. 28.
“I was always in awe of him,” Hamm said. “Just a multi-faceted, strong, athletic, talented young player. I’m excited to have the opportunity to add him to our ball club. I think he’s going to bring a lot.”