Washington Wizards rookie forward Rui Hachimura is turning heads, thus far, averaging 18.0 points, 7. 0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in four games this season. Hachimura is the first-ever Japanese player to be drafted, as the Wizards selected him No. 9 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Gonzaga University.
Hachimura caught the attention of Wizards’ current Director of Player Personnel Antawn Jamison, during his Sophomore year at Gonzaga.
“I was doing college scouting for the Los Angeles Lakers for the last two and a half years. I’ve seen him a lot, and the thing I love about him is that he is still raw, but every year he has gotten better. Dramatically, she has shown how well he can improve quickly,” Jamison told me.
Jamison further added, “He is tough, his nice size, quickness, and once he learns how to play this game on this level, it’s going to be fun. So, he is one of the guys that I am excited to see month after month. People are really going to be excited to see how quickly he can get better, and I am a firm believer, especially for a young guy.
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Wizards Veteran CJ Miles on Rui Hachimura Being a Matchup Problem
Last week, CJ Miles was asked by Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington about the problematic task of guarding Rui Hachimura.
“There’s always going to be a guy who really can’t guard him guarding him,” forward C.J. Miles said. “If you put a wing on him, they’re too small. If you put a big on him, they’re too slow.”
He was just one of the many to issue praise to Hachimura, as two NBA coaches also spoke about the young forward.
Rick Carlisle & Scott Brooks Sounds off on Rui Hachimura
Last month, Scott Brooks was asked how Hacimura impressed him during a trip to Dallas, to face off against the Mavericks.
(Quote transcribed by Mavs.com‘s Eddie Sefko):
“Just his maturity,” Brooks said of what’s most impressive of the 21-year-old Hachimura. “He’s been in the States, for now, a little over three years. Didn’t speak the language very well when he first got to Gonzaga. Just his maturity.
“(And) he gives you great effort every day. A lot of times, you have to work that out with younger players, but not one time have I said it out loud or even to myself: Rui has to play harder, or Rui has to get back. He just has a great feel, and his maturity really stands out.”
After the 108-100 victory over Washington, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle shared his thoughts on Hachimura.
“I like Hachimura. He has very good skills, strength, and has a very bright future. His shooting range will continue to get better, but he has a really strong NBA body. I love the way he drives it, and he doesn’t say much out there; he just plays, and he really defends. So, he has a very bright future,” said Carlisle.