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Rui Hachimura signs three-year, $51 million deal with Lakers in free agency

Hachimura is back in LA.

Rui Hachimura #28 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to his foul during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets in game four of the Western Conference Finals at Arena on May 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Rui Hachimura has returned to the Los Angeles Lakers on a three-year deal worth $51 million, according to Shams Charania. Hachimura was a restricted free agent, but the Lakers didn’t want to risk another team signing him to a big offer sheet and have secured his services on a long-term deal.

Hachimura was moved at the trade deadline last season, and wound up becoming one of the Lakers’ most efficient frontcourt members from the time he stepped on the floor until the team was ultimately eliminated from the playoffs by the 2023 NBA champion Denver Nuggets.

The 25-year-old big man was the team’s fifth-best scorer (12.2) throughout the postseason, and logged 24.3 minutes per game in 16 appearances. He also recorded his best career average of shots from inside the perimeter (55.6). If he can continue to grow offensively while remaining a solid defender, he’ll be a great signing for the Lakers.