The 2022-23 NBA season is officially over for the Los Angeles Lakers after LeBron James and company struggled to compete against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.
Despite being swept by the Nuggets in four games during that series, the season was a success for the Lakers after a rollercoaster ride in the regular season and a brilliant run in the postseason, which started in the play-in tournament.
One of the reasons for the Lakers being able to turn things around this year and get as far as they did in the playoffs was the addition of newcomer Rui Hachimura.
Before the Lakers sent Russell Westbrook packing in the blockbuster trade to bring in D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Malik Beasley, Los Angeles made a deal with the Washington Wizards to bring in Hachimura, and at this point, it is looking like it was a steal.
On Friday, the Lakers tweeted Hachimura’s highlights during the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and Nuggets.
Rui’s mid-range mastery: Playoff edition pic.twitter.com/BFxUH3ixW0
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 2, 2023
With Hachimura putting on a show during the playoffs, the 25-year-old heads in the summer with some leverage as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
In 16 games during the postseason, Hachimura averaged 12.2 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, shooting 55.7% from the floor and 48.7% from beyond the arc.
Hachimura proved to be a valuable piece to the puzzle for the Lakers and will definitely have his fair share of suitors once he becomes a free agent, with Los Angeles hoping to retain his services for next season and beyond.NEXT: Lakers Assistant Comments On Kyrie Irving's Abilities