Washington Wizards: 3 reasons Rui Hachimura was a bad pick

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Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Out of Gonzaga, Rui Hachimura is a solid player with NBA skills, but he was not the right pick for the Washington Wizards at No. 9 in the 2019 NBA Draft.

In the 2019 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards had the opportunity to make a big splash and select a young player in the lottery for the first time since 2013.

Since the Wizards will be missing their star player in John Wall for the majority of next season, they had a lot of freedom with this pick.

They could’ve grabbed a more polished player who showed their talent in college or overseas, who would be ready to slot into the rotation from Day 1. Or they could’ve looked for an unproven player with a lot of upside.

They decided to pick the NBA-ready talent. With the ninth selection, Washington picked a 6’9” forward from the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Rui Hachimura. He became the first Japanese player ever picked in the first round of the NBA Draft.

Hachimura was not a highly touted prospect out of school in Japan and played three years with Gonzaga. He played just 4.6 minutes per game his freshman year and started just two games his sophomore year.

He finally got the chance to lead the Bulldogs his junior year and 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 30.2 minutes per game. He also was named a consensus first-team All-American.

According to Ben Mehic, the Wizards had not contacted Hachimura before the draft, though they worked out or met with a host of potential lottery picks such as Coby White, Nassir Little and Sekou Doumbouya.

Hachimura is a great player in his own right, but despite his interior skill and touch around the basket, he is not the pick the Wizards should have made with the ninth selection.