EL SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles Lakers have decided to bring back some of the young players that helped the franchise make it to the Western Conference Finals last season. In separate announcements by general manager Rob Pelinka, the team re-signed guards D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reeves as well as forward Rui Hachimura.
All three players proved to be vital in the Lakers’ postseason run. After joining Los Angeles via trade from Minnesota on Feb. 9, Russell (6’4, 200) appeared in 17 games (all starts), posting averages of 17.4 points (.484 FG%, .414 3P%), 2.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 30.9 minutes per game.
Overall, the Louisville, Ky., native saw action in 71 games (all starts) for the Lakers and Timberwolves last season, averaging 17.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.5 minutes while shooting a career-high 39.6 percent from 3-point range. During the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Russell played 16 games (15 starts) with Los Angeles and averaged 13.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 29.6 minutes.
Across eight NBA seasons with the Lakers (2022-23, 2015-17), Timberwolves (2019-23), Warriors (2019-20) and Nets (2017-19), Russell has appeared in 495 career games (431 starts), averaging 17.7 points (.362 3P%), 3.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 29.9 minutes per game.
The 27-year-old has suited up in 27 career playoff games (26 starts) for the Lakers (2022-23), Timberwolves (2021-22) and Nets (2018-19), where he averaged 14.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.3 minutes per game.
The 2019 NBA All-Star was drafted by the Lakers with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft following his lone campaign at Ohio State University (2014-15).
During the 2022-23 campaign, Reaves (6’5”, 206) appeared in 64 games (22 starts) for the Lakers, averaging 13.0 points (.529 FG%, .398 3P%), 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 28.8 minutes. Reaves joined Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard as the only players in the league to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field, 39.0 percent from 3-point range and 85.0 percent from the free-throw line (min. 200 FTM).
The 25-year-old scored in double figures in 42 games, including 10 contests with 20+ points and one 30-point performance. In his second season with the Lakers, Reaves improved his career averages in scoring and assists, as well as his shooting percentages from the field, 3-point range and the charity stripe. In 16 playoff games (all starts) last season, Reaves averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists while shooting 46.4 percent from the field, 44.3 percent from long distance and 89.5 percent from the free-throw line.
In two seasons with Los Angeles, Reaves has suited up in 125 career games (41 starts), averaging 10.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 26.1 minutes while shooting 50.1 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from 3-point range and 85.6 percent from the free-throw line.
Reaves was originally signed by the Lakers to a two-way contract after going undrafted out of the University of Oklahoma (2019-21). The Arkansas native was then signed to a standard NBA contract with the purple and gold prior to the 2021-22 NBA season.
After joining Los Angeles via trade from Washington on Jan. 23, Hachimura (6’8”, 230) appeared in 33 games (nine starts) and averaged 9.6 points (.485 FG%) and 4.7 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per contest to end the 2022-23 regular season.
Overall, Hachimura appeared in 63 games (nine starts) with the Lakers and Wizards last season and averaged 11.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game. During the 2023 NBA Playoffs with the purple and gold, Hachimura averaged 12.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16 games (one start), shooting 55.7 percent from the field and 48.7 percent from 3-point range, good for the sixth-best mark in the playoffs.
The 25-year-old was the only player in the 2023 NBA Playoffs to shoot at least 55.0 percent from the field (min. 10 FGA), 48.0 percent from 3-point range and 88.0 percent from the free-throw line.
Across four professional NBA seasons, Hachimura has appeared in 210 career games (127 starts) for the Lakers (2022-23) and Wizards (2019-23), averaging 12.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 26.9 minutes per game. The Japanese native has played in 21 career playoff games (six starts) for the Lakers (2022-23) and Wizards (2020-21), posting averages of 12.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game, while shooting 57.3 percent from the field and 51.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Hachimura was selected by Washington with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft after a three-year collegiate career (2016-19) at Gonzaga University. In his final season as a junior, Hachimura appeared in 37 games and averaged 19.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 30.2 minutes per contest on his way to being named a consensus First Team All-American.
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