Rob Pelinka — Rui Hachimura transfer ‘doesn’t mean we’re done’

Rob Pelinka — Rui Hachimura transfer ‘doesn’t mean we’re done’

LOS ANGELES — The NBA made a big move 2½ weeks before the trade deadline by making an acquisition Rui Hachimura from Washington Wizards on Monday, Los Angeles Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka still emphasized the urgency of updating the roster.

“[We] “I felt like it was an opportunity for us to strike early and address a need in a market that was a little slow,” Pelinka said before the Lakers’ 133-115 loss. LA Clippers joined Hahimura at an introductory press conference on Tuesday. “And [it] this does not mean our work is over: we continue to monitor the situation with the other 29 teams. …

“Our job as a front office is always to look to improve our team now and in the future, and we felt that Rui was a great way to do that, so we struck early.”

Pelinka was asked if the Lakers’ pursuit of additional deals before the Feb. 9 trade deadline would include parting with the franchise’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to complete the deal. The LA Wizards were able to let go of those picks in the trade Kendrick Nunn and three future second-round picks to Washington.

“I think the bottom line for the Lakers is whether or not to win a championship. There’s no intermediate or incremental growth,” Pelinka said. “As we analyze the possibilities, we have to do it through that lens. I said it at the beginning of the season, if we have a chance to go all the way and win the championship, we don’t have the resources. If we feel we’re there, we’ll catch it.”

Part of the commitment to competition is motivation LeBron Jamesnow in his 20th season, he signed a two-year extension with the Lakers in the offseason — promising his best time with the franchise while still looking to add to his four career titles.

“What’s completely unreasonable is to shoot early and then not shoot it later when you have a better move in the championship,” continued Pelinka. “It’s a very delicate calculation and the whole front office, we evaluate every step of the way. If we see a move that puts us in the front row for another, 18th championship here, we’ll do it. If this move doesn’t show itself, we’ll be smart and do it later.”

Pelinka also departed from his previous stance on the decision-making process in the front office, making it clear that the responsibility for every decision rests with him — even if he seeks input from James and the team’s leadership. Anthony Davis.

“I think LeBron said in the press conference last night, ‘My job is to play basketball.’ The front office’s job is to do their job and build the roster. And the coach. [Darvin] Ham’s job is to coach.” I agree with that, said Pelinka. – We all have to do our job well and do it well and we all have to be together. This is how we work and will continue to work.”

Hachimura, 24, has a career average of 13.0 points on 47.9 percent shooting and 5.1 rebounds in four seasons with Washington since being drafted with the No. 9 overall pick out of Gonzaga in 2019.

A native of Toyama, Japan, Hachimura is the first Japanese player in Lakers history.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Hachimura said Tuesday. “Obviously, the Lakers are 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 Los Angeles.

“It’s so funny, when I was in college, I used to come here for college games … and I used to joke that this house was going to be my house. So it’s great that it’s happening right now.”

Hachimura took a red-eye flight to Los Angeles on Monday and began the onboarding process at 6 a.m. Tuesday at the Lakers’ practice facility, completing physicals and meeting with team staff and trainers.

He can play against his opponent on Wednesday San Antonio Spurs, sources told ESPN. He will wear #28.

“I’ve always admired him,” Hamm said. “Simply a versatile, strong, athletic, skilled young player, I am delighted to have the opportunity to add him to our club. I think he will bring a lot.”

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