4 Lakers on Thin Ice After JJ Redick's Official Hiring

With J.J. Redick being hired as the next Lakers head coach, these four Los Angeles players have found themselves on the thinnest of ice.
Which Lakers will be on thin ice now that J.J. Redick has been hired?
Which Lakers will be on thin ice now that J.J. Redick has been hired? / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Rui Hachimura, PF/SF

Rui Hachimura was quite the curious case during the 2023-24 campaign. After signing a three-year, $51 million contract last offseason, the 26-year-old forward looked well worth the price during the regular season, averaging 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while shooting 53.7% from the field with a career-high 1.4 threes made on 3.4 attempts (42.2%).

Unfortunately, Hachimura couldn't carry that success into the playoffs. He was one of many Lakers who failed to show up against the Nuggets, averaging 7.8 points (on .395/.357/.500 splits) while adding 3.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists. His offensive rating also went from 121 in the regular season to 100 in the playoffs, indicating how much he regressed.

Hachimura is a solid rotational player, but a $17 million price tag is a lot to justify next season — especially if his playoff performance becomes the norm. It makes a ton of sense for the Lakers to attempt to shop him and his salary around if they're aiming to acquire a bigger fish. The fact that he only turned 26 years old in February could be enough for some teams to believe that they can salvage him.

Even if the Lakers can't acquire a massive name, moving Hachimura for multiple rotation pieces or even a wing upgrade could make Redick's life easier. Only time will tell if GM Pelinka is willing to part with the Toyama, Japan native after less than two seasons.