No. 2: Rui Hachimura
If the Los Angeles Lakers let him walk, Rui Hachimura would be an excellent rotation forward for the Blazers.
In an interview with ESPN, Hachimura said,
"The reason why I requested the trade is that I wanted to be somewhere I could be happy and play basketball, that liked me as a basketball player, that believed in me, and the Lakers were one of the teams that was really interested in me."
If he doesn’t re-sign with the Lakers, the Blazers are known to be a team many NBA players enjoy playing for.
Hachimura is known for his scoring versatility. He can contribute as a stretch big off the bench. With a career shooting percentage of 48 percent, he has shown efficiency and effectiveness in his scoring.
He has shown the ability to step into a larger role, as evidenced by his substantial minutes played during the Lakers’ Western Conference playoff series against the Denver Nuggets. In 33.5 minutes per game, he scored 15.3 points while shooting 53.3 percent from the field.
Hachimura’s ability to space the floor and provide scoring punch in the paint would be valuable for the Blazers’ second unit. Additionally, his growth potential and willingness to take on a larger role make him an intriguing option for the team’s long-term plans.
Hachimura fills the need for a stretch big, averaging 12.5 points in 26.9 minutes primarily off the bench in his career. As the second option off the bench behind Grant, he could provide valuable contributions at the cost of the full MLE.