1. Hachimura does not have high upside
Rui Hachimura is a great player. His interior game is fantastic, and his mid-range game is stellar. But in terms of the polish of his skills, he is pretty close to the top of his game and there is not much room to go.
Hachimura can dribble the ball down the court and lead the fast break, but he is not a great ball-handler. He skipped the NBA Draft Combine, so his results in comparison to others will be left in question. He does not have great speed or quickness on the court, and he will not be able to bully smaller players with his strength in the pros due to the strength of NBA players.
One thing that is clear about the Japanese forward is his will to work and improve. His work ethic and his smarts on the court are unquestionable as he was the focal point of a complex Gonzaga offense last season.
He will play a role as an strong interior four who can stretch his game out toward, but not to, the 3-point line quite yet. Even after full development Hachimura will be a stretch-4 with great interior game. But this kind of player can be found outside the top 10 in the draft.
A No. 9 pick for a team that is by no means guaranteed a playoff spot without John Wall should take a risk. Instead of playing it safe with Hachimura, the selection should have been spent on a player with All-Star upside, even if that player is not ready to impact the team this year.
While Hachimura will be an important piece to Washington’s roster in the coming years, the first Wizards lottery pick in six years should’ve been focused on a potential All-Star rather than a less versatile interior player whose game is primarily inside the arc.