According to the website The Athletic, Rui Hachimura will be the starter of the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2023/24 season. The Japanese player will compete for the spot with Christian Wood, who recently arrived. However, Hachimura will be the favourite, while Wood will come off the bench to replace Anthony Davis at centre.
completion trade deadline, Jarred Vanderbilt claimed a position on the first team, but his situation changed in the playoffs. Therefore, coach Darvin Ham removed the power forward and used Dennis Schroder in the bottom formation. However, the Lakers were better when Hachimura played with LeBron James, D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves. Therefore, the California team scored 52 more points than their opponents. Meanwhile, at Vanderbilt, the difference is 12.
On Thursday, Ham praised the player, but did not guarantee his presence.
“I expect a good year from Rui”, said the coach, on Thursday. “He’s still young, but his level of play is different and he’s at the highest level possible. So we’ll see how it goes, but he’s in the rotation. ”
But being the starter in 2023/24 for the Lakers is not new for Rui Hachimura. Between the end of January and February 13, he started eight games and produced 12.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and made 41.2% of his three-pointers in about 28 minutes.
In addition to Hachimura and Wood, it is possible that the Taurean Prince will compete for the final spot in the starting quintet. Prince is the shorter of the two, but has played as a small forward and power forward in recent years.
Recently, Ham announced that D’Angelo Russell will be the starting point guard. Shortly after Gabe Vincent arrived in free agency, there was an idea that Russell would lose his spot for good. It should be noted that in the playoffs, against the Denver Nuggets, he started on the bench in the elimination game. However, the coach assured that there will be no surprises there.
“Throughout offseason He (Russell) is good at communicating,” Ham said. “Watch how he speaks in practice, in casual games… He’s a vocal leader. Encouraging the latest reinforcements and discussing things with LeBron (James) and (Anthony) Davis. In fact, the three of them trained together a few times during the holidays … There are many stories about how the series against the Denver Nuggets ended, but we would never get this far if no D’Angelo Russell.
“So he’s our starting point guard,” revealed the Lakers coach. “I encourage you to make up your mind. He is a very intelligent player. Russell chose us and we believed in him. He is the type of person who has pride and love not only for his personal success, but also for his colleagues. Big support to all of them. So I looked at DLo and I saw him having a wonderful time.