For the teams bound set to land in the 2019 NBA Draft lottery, there’s a decent amount to be excited about, even after some endured a tough season. Although missing out on the likes of Zion Williamson or Ja Morant isn’t ideal, there are a number of other incredibly talented prospects who’ll land in the top-10 or 15. One of those names is bound to be Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura.
The forward has seen his draft stock continue to trend in the right direction and it’s certainly warranted thanks to his play. Hachimura, who stands 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, is having by far the best year of his collegiate career. He’s averaging 20.1 points and 6.6 rebounds through the first 34 games of the season.
After an impressive junior year, Hachimura will be a name to monitor ahead of the draft and we broke down the latest on his projections and mocks.
Rui Hachimura NBA Mock Drafts
It’s hard to argue with the love going in the direction of the Bulldogs forward to this point. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie pegged Hachimura as a top-10 pick in his most recent mock draft. Vecenie has him coming off the board at No. 10 overall and heading to the Charlotte Hornets.
Hachimura was called a straight power forward currently with the potential to be a small-ball 5 option if he doesn’t begin expanding his outside shot.
He’s a straight 4 man right now with potential to be more of a small-ball 5 if his game doesn’t really expand as a shooter, but there is potential there. He’s only taken one 3-pointer per game, but he’s made them at 46.9 percent. He needs to up the volume, but there is real starpower here if Hachimura an develop the shot.
While that’s high praise for Hachimura, others do have him slightly lower on mock drafts. One of those would be Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo, who still believes the Gonzaga forward is a lottery pick but has him going to the Boston Celtics at No. 14.
Keeping with that similar trend, ESPN’s duo of Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz weren’t quite ready to put Hachimura in the lottery yet, leaving him just outside of it. In their latest mock, he’s off the board at No. 16 and finds an intriguing new home with the Brooklyn Nets.
Rui Hachimura’s NBA Draft Projections & Big Board Outlook
The big board outlook for Hachimura overall seems to be fairly similar to where he’s landing on mock drafts. Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo does have Hachimura higher on his big board by one spot (No. 13) than he does in the mock draft, but nothing drastic.
The outlook on ESPN’s “best available” board for the draft is similar, with the junior pegged as the No. 15 prospect. They placed Hachimura behind the likes of Kentucky forward P.J. Washington (No. 13) and USC shooting guard Kevin Porter (No. 14).
Obviously, the Gonzaga playmaker has a well-rounded game and the one area where he’ll likely need to expand is the aforementioned outside shooting. While he’s 24-of-72 from deep in his career, he knocked down 15-of-32 during the first 34 games of the 2018-19 season, so the arrow is pointing up.