4 Lakers Who Will Be Replaced This Offseason

If the Los Angeles Lakers want to return to prominence next season, they must consider replacing these four players this offseason, either through the draft or free agency.
D'Angelo Russell is one of four Lakers who should be replaced this offseason.
D'Angelo Russell is one of four Lakers who should be replaced this offseason. / Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Rui Hachimura, SF/PF

When it came to the latest regular season, there's no doubt that Rui Hachimura was among the Lakers' best players. In his first full campaign with the franchise, the ex-Gonzaga Bulldog averaged 13.6 PTS/4.3 REB/1.2 AST with a 53.7 FG% and 42.2 3-point % all while playing nearly 27 minutes across 68 games.

But much like many other Lakers, the Japanese forward couldn't find similar results in the postseason. Despite averaging over 30 minutes per playoff tilt, Hachimura's average plummeted to 7.8 PTS/3.8 REB/.0.8 AST as his shootings splits (.395/.357/.500) also declined. It didn't help that he finished four of Los Angeles' five playoff games with nine or fewer points.

While Hachimura, 26, is young enough to bounce back, his contract could be the main reason why he's moved. He's owed $17 million for 2024-25 and that number jumps up to $18.2 million for the following season. Whether you're looking at his regular-season or postseason numbers, it's tough to justify paying him that much money.

If Hachimura was $3-5 million cheaper, I'd be fine with keeping him around for another season. Alas, that isn't the reality we live in and it's likely in the Lakers' best interest to try to use his salary as a part of a bigger deal. He's still a solid role player when he's on his game, but he isn't the difference-maker that Los Angeles needs to bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

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