Wizards' Rui Hachimura on NBA Trade Rumors: I 'Want to Be Somewhere That Wants Me'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 22, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11: Rui Hachimura #8 of the Washington Wizards drives around Goran Dragic #7 of the Chicago Bulls in the first half at Capital One Arena on January 11, 2023 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura is looking to be appreciated amid recent trade rumors.

"I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes my game," Hachimura told reporters.

The Wizards have "begun trade discussions" involving the 24-year-old ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline, according to Shams Charania and Josh Robbins of The Athletic, with "several" Western Conference teams interested.

Hachimura is in his fourth season with the Wizards after being drafted No. 9 overall in 2019. The two sides were unable to work out a contract extension, and he is set to become a restricted free agent in the offseason.

The 6'8", 230-pound forward isn't letting trade talk affect him, matching a career high with 30 points in Saturday's 138-118 win over the Orlando Magic.

"I just got to play my game. I know what I can do, and I can help the team to win," Hachimura said after the game. "It's either here or other team. I can help teams."

Hachimura is averaging 13.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 30 appearances off the bench this season.