Report: Lakers would have to lose Rui Hachimura in order to sign Kyrie Irving

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

The prospect of the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving appears to be unlikely, as one report indicates that doing so would result in losing Rui Hachimura.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explained (at the 48-second mark) why signing Irving to rejoin his one-time teammate LeBron James would be problematic for the Lakers.

“To do it, they would have to pretty much jettison everybody they just picked up, including Rui Hachimura,” said Windhorst. “They’d have to probably waive Malik Beasley. There are sign-and-trade scenarios where if they could get Dallas’ cooperation and maybe sweeten that pot for them, that they could keep more of their roster together.”

Hachimura was acquired by the Lakers this past January from the Washington Wizards. His performance this postseason explains in part why the Wizards selected him with the ninth overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.

In 33 regular season games with the Lakers, Hachimura provided modest numbers, but he’s begun to deliver in the postseason.

During the first-round upset of the Memphis Grizzlies, Hachimura averaged 14.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Those numbers then dipped during the six-game series against the Golden State Warriors.

However, in the first three games of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets, Hachimura has been a bright spot in an otherwise dismal stretch for the team. He’s averaging 17.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest.

The 25-year-old is in the final year of his rookie deal and will be a restricted free agent this offseason. The Lakers figure to match any contract offers from other teams. Staying with him would likely be less expensive than adding Irving.

Irving turned 31 in March and has thus far shown no signs that he’d be willing to take less money this offseason to give the Lakers some flexibility.

In addition to his advancing age, Irving also brings a heavy injury history that’s often limited him from entering the stratosphere of all-time great players.

Adding Irving would also likely bring along the baggage that he’s accumulated over the past few seasons. The most notable of the controversies surrounding the veteran was his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

That stance prevented him from playing for much of the 2021-22 season, with other issues also cropping up along the way.

Irving’s connection with James stems from the duo’s three seasons together as members of the Cleveland Cavaliers. During his second season with James, Irving connected on a game-winning basket in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to give the Cavaliers their first and only league title.

Despite that magical moment, the Lakers appear ready to focus on signing other players.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.