Cavaliers trade starter for Lakers playoff star in LSL pitch

Anthony Davis and Rui Hachimura, Los Angeles Lakers. Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images
Anthony Davis and Rui Hachimura, Los Angeles Lakers. Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images /
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Rui Hachimura, Los Angeles Lakers. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images /

Why the Cavaliers turn this deal down

Rui Hachimura had a playoff run for the ages, with his jumper catching fire and propelling him to a payday this summer. After the Lakers acquired him during the season he played in just his second postseason ever, shooting 48.7 percent from deep as he hit a number of big shots for a Lakers team that went further than expected in the playoffs.

During the regular season, Hachimura shot (checks notes) 34.7 percent from deep, and only 29.6 percent as a Laker. He didn’t suddenly become a better shooter when he joined the Lakers; he just got hot for a few weeks. The Cavs can’t be tricked by a small sample. The Hachimura who would be joining the Cavs wouldn’t revolutionize their floor spacing.

He’s also a poor defender, an atrociously bad playmaker and has a much longer track record of trying to be an on-ball scorer instead of an off-ball cutter and shooter. He showed in the Lakers’ playoff run that he can thrive in that role, but 16 games don’t paper over a four-year career. If Hachimura was a stretch-4 star he probably would have earned more than a three-year, $51 million deal this summer; the market suggests his value is lower than Allen (making $20 million per season).

The Cavaliers may very well need to trade Jarrett Allen to unlock Evan Mobley’s peak value to the team, using him to become more positionally versatile on the wing. They should not do it for a player worth only a couple of seconds at the Trade Deadline a few months ago; the Lakers’ glow-up effect is a mirage. This deal would make the Cavs worse defensively, slightly older (Allen is a few months younger than Hachimura) and only marginally less expensive. It’s not even close to worth it for the Cavaliers.

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Grade: D