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Bench Return: Rui Hachimura Takes a Seat in Lakers’ Rotation

SportsBench Return: Rui Hachimura Takes a Seat in Lakers' Rotation

Rui Hachimura’s Role Shift: A Bench Return for the Lakers

Shifting Roles Against the Bulls

Hachimura Moves to the Bench

Rui Hachimura, Lakers’ forward, is set to come off the bench in the upcoming game against the Bulls, as reported by Ryan Ward of LakersNation.com. Despite starting in the previous two games against the Trail Blazers and the Clippers, Hachimura will now assume a reserve role. This shift is attributed to the return of LeBron James and Taurean Prince, both back in full strength. In his recent games as a reserve, Hachimura has averaged 19.0 minutes on the court.

Contract Renewal and Lakers’ Excitement

A Lucrative Three-Year Deal

The LA Lakers have secured the services of Rui Hachimura for an additional three years through a $51 million deal. This renewal comes after a productive first season with the Lakers, having been acquired from the Washington Wizards in January. The trade involved Kendrick Nunn and three second-round draft picks.

Hachimura’s Impact on 2023 Playoffs

Hachimura played a pivotal role off the bench during the Lakers’ impressive 2023 Western Conference finals run. His contributions played a significant part in the team’s success. The forward expressed his happiness about returning to the Lakers, citing his love for the teammates, culture, staff, and the overall positive experience with the franchise.

Contract Renewal Interview Highlights

In an interview regarding his contract renewal, Hachimura expressed his excitement and satisfaction with returning to the Lakers. He mentioned that LA was his first option, and he and his agent worked effectively with Rob Pelinka and the Lakers’ team to align their goals. Hachimura conveyed his eagerness to continue contributing to the team’s success.

Statistical Overview and Playoff Performance

Regular Season Performance

During the regular season, Hachimura posted solid stats, averaging 9.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game while shooting at an impressive 48.5%. These numbers reflected his impact coming off the bench and contributing to the Lakers’ success.

Playoffs Excellence

In the playoffs, Hachimura elevated his game, showcasing improved numbers. He averaged 12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 0.6 assists on an impressive 55.7% shooting over 16 playoff games. Notably, he achieved a unique feat by being the only player in the 2023 NBA playoffs to shoot over 55.0% from the field, 48.0% from 3-point range, and 88.0% from the free-throw line.

Return from Injury

Hachimura’s return from a left calf strain is anticipated for the upcoming game against the Utah Jazz. The injury had sidelined him for five consecutive games. The Lakers’ injury report indicates his probable return, bringing depth and versatility to the team.

Team Dynamics and Potential Starting Role

Considering Hachimura’s previous entry into the starting lineup before the injury, there is speculation about whether he will resume this role or return to his familiar bench position. The Lakers, dealing with injuries to players like Cam Reddish and D’Angelo Russell, could benefit from Hachimura’s flexibility and skill set.

Minutes Restriction

Given his recent absence, it’s likely that Hachimura will face a minutes restriction upon his return. This cautious approach aims to ensure his full recovery and gradual reintegration into the team’s playing rotation.


As Rui Hachimura transitions back to a bench role for the Lakers, his contract renewal reflects the team’s confidence in his abilities and contributions. Lakers fans can look forward to witnessing his impact on the court, both as a valuable reserve and potentially in a starting capacity, further fortifying the team’s quest for success in the ongoing NBA season.

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