Rob Pelinka Rui Hachimuras move doesnt mean our job

Rob Pelinka – Rui Hachimura’s move ‘doesn’t mean our job is over’

LOS ANGELES — After taking a big step by acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards on Monday, Rob Pelinka, vice president of basketball operations and general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, already 2½ weeks before the NBA closed, he nevertheless emphasized the Urgency of updating the squad.

“[We] We felt it was an opportunity for us to strike early and fill a need in a market that has proven to be a bit slow,” Pelinka said before the Lakers lost 133-115 to the LA Clippers on Tuesday and joined Hachimura for an introductory press conference.” And [it] does not mean that our work is finished: we will continue to monitor the situation with the 29 other teams. …

“Our job as a front office is always to improve our team now and in the future and we felt Rui was the perfect way to do that and that’s why we jumped in early.”

Pelinka was asked if the Lakers’ quest for additional deals by the Feb. 9 close will include parting with the franchise’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to complete a deal. LA was able to keep those picks in the Wizards trade, sending Kendrick Nunn and three future picks to Washington for the second round.

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“I think the calculus for the Lakers is to win a championship or not. There is no in-between or incremental growth,” Pelinka said. “When we analyze opportunities, we have to do it through this lens. And I said that at the beginning of the season, if there’s an opportunity to go to the end and win a championship, there’s no resource that we’re going to hold on to if we feel like it’s there. “

Part of that commitment to competition is motivated by LeBron James, now in his 20th season, who signed a two-year offseason extension with the Lakers – promising the franchise the dawn of its heyday while still longing for its four to expand job titles.

“It would be totally unwise to take a ball early and not have it later when you have a better championship move you can make,” continued Pelinka. “It’s a really delicate calculus and something that the entire front office evaluates with all its traits. If we see a move that makes us a front runner to get another championship here, 18th here, we will do it. And if that step doesn’t come up, we’ll be smart and take it at a later date.”

“I’m so happy to be a part of this family and I’m so happy to be back in LA,” Rui Hachimura said when he was unveiled as the Lakers’ newest member at a news conference on Tuesday. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Pelinka continued to distance himself from his previous stance on the front office decision-making process, making it clear that the responsibility for every decision falls into his lap – even as he seeks input from team leaders James and Anthony Davis.

“I think LeBron said it very well at the press conference the other night when he said, ‘My job is to play basketball. The front office’s job is to get their job done and build a roster [Darvin] Ham’s job is to coach.’ I agree with that,” said Pelinka. “We all have to do our jobs and do it with excellence and all be together. This is how we work and will continue to do so.”

Hachimura, 24, has had career averages of 13.0 points on 47.9% shooting and 5.1 rebounds in four seasons with Washington since being drafted by Gonzaga at the No. 9 in 2019.

Hailing from Toyama, Japan, Hachimura is the first Japanese-born player in Lakers history.

“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity,” said Hachimura on Tuesday. “Obviously the Lakers are one of the biggest organizations. I’m so happy to be a part of this family and I’m so happy to be back in LA

“It’s so funny that when I was in college I came here for college games… and I joked that this would be my home. So it’s great that it’s actually happening right now.”

Hachimura took a red-eye flight to LA on Monday and began the onboarding process at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning at the Lakers’ practice facility, completing a physical and meeting with team members and coaches.

He could play the San Antonio Spurs as early as Wednesday, sources told ESPN. He will wear No. 28.

“I’ve always been impressed with him,” said Ham. “Just a multifaceted, strong, athletic, talented young player and I am delighted to have the opportunity to add him to our ball club. I think he will bring a lot.”