Lakers News: LeBron James responds to Rui Hachimura

At a recent media conference, Los Angeles Lakers general manager and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka and head coach Dalvin Hamm praised the progress Hachimura has shown since being acquired from the Washington Wizards.

They also noted his intention to work out with LeBron James this offseason, with Ham adding that James refers to Hachimura as his “backup.”

Hachimura’s reaction to the comments included tagging James with an X, which prompted a response.

“LeBron calls him his backup,” Hamm said on Sept. 28, via the team. “Visually and communicatively, he’s been with him as much as possible over the summer. I think that’s a great thing. “He’s set himself up not only for a long career, but for a very high level. level long career. “

Hachimura played 33 games with the Lakers, including 9 starts, averaging 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. As a starter, he averaged 11.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, but the Lakers were shorthanded in these games and only achieved a record of 3 wins and 6 losses.

In the playoffs, Hachimura started one of 16 games and averaged 12.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, the deciding Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets.

The 6-foot-8 forward could become a full-time starter next season.

Rui Hachimura likely to start next season

“The initial expectation was that (Christian) Wood would come off the bench, with Hachimura likely to start in the frontcourt alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis,” The Athletic’s Jovan Buha quoted on Sept. 6 Team sources are quoted as saying.

But Ham put the brakes on this and let the games in training camp determine the final starting position.

“We have a Swiss Army Knife of a team in terms of how to use (Hachimura),” Ham said. “He’s another player who can play multiple positions, can score at three levels, he’s strong, physical and made a huge leap defensively last year. … I expect nothing but big things from Rui this year event.”

The Lakers extended the contract of 25-year-old Hachimura this offseason, signing a three-year contract worth $51 million.

“He’s still a young player. There are different levels he can go to and it’s a high level already. So we’ll figure it out. But he’s definitely going to get into it.”

Daven Ham: Rui Hachimura has “All-Star” potential

Ham talked about the Lakers’ depth, which includes Hachimura, and he had high praise for Hachimura while also raising expectations for the ninth overall pick in the 2019 draft.

“I don’t even think he’s scratched the surface,” Hamm said via Spectrum Sports Network April 23rd. “I tell people all the time, this kid has All-Star skills. He’s an All-Star caliber talent.”

If Hachimura can have the same improvement as Austin Reaves, the Lakers’ high-profile offseason could be even higher. Even if he just maintains his level of performance, he should be a key cog for a team hoping to overcome the odds and make it to the NBA Finals this season.

“Ruy, to me, I wouldn’t say he’s the most improved player. But he’s improved as a threat and an impact player,” Lakers Hall of Famer James Worthy told Spectrum on Aug. 11 said on SportsNet. “He’s very consistent and I think he’s the prototype of an NBA player.”

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