Rui Hachimura's 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Analysis of Wizards Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 21, 2019

Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura (21) drives to the hoop against Baylor during the first half of a second-round game in NCAA men's college basketball tournament Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)
Jeff Swinger/Associated Press

The Washington Wizards have selected Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

Scouts had been waiting for him to break out during his first two years at Gonzaga. Hachimura delivered as a junior with outstanding production and efficiency, scoring 19.7 points per game on 59.1 percent shooting last season. A physical standout for three years, the Japanese forward finally looks ready to make the jump from Gonzaga to the NBA.


Quick hitters

Size: 6'8"

Weight: 230 pounds

Wingspan: 7'2"


Pro comparison: Jabari Parker


Offensive strengths

At 6'8", 230 pounds, Hachimura possesses a tough mix of strength, quickness and athleticism. He's been one of college hoops' top finishers, as he shot 62.6 percent at the rim and at least 60.0 percent from inside the arc for three consecutive seasons. Hachimura also ranked in the 90th percentile in post-ups and can score over the shoulder or face up and make a move. In addition, he has some touch, having shot 59.6 percent on short jumpers inside 17 feet.


Offensive weaknesses 

Shooting range has been scouts' concern with Hachimura, who shot 9-of-31 on two-point jumpers beyond 17 feet and 24-of-76 from three in 102 career games. He has a line-drive shot that raises questions. He's also a poor passer, having registered a career-best 9.1 assist percentage in 2018-19. Hachimura doesn't see the floor well. His rebounding numbers have been low, too, and he isn't a major threat for second-chance points on the offensive glass. 


Defensive outlook

Hachimura has flashed glimpses of defensive versatility and the ability to stay attached to quicker players. However, his defensive upside is limited. He doesn't block shots (career 2.6 block percentage) or force turnovers. And he can be easy to play through against certain opponents. Hachimura isn't a plus rebounder, either, having averaged a poor 8.6 boards per 40 minutes despite his physical profile.


Rookie-year projection

Having played three years in the West Coast Conference, Hachimura may need time to adjust to NBA competition. Physically, he's on par with pro forwards. And he has enough athleticism and scoring instinct to continue to generate offense in the paint. But he's bound to have trouble with a deeper three-point arc and pro defensive concepts during his first year. He'll come off the bench next season for backup minutes.


Projected role: Rotation forward/offensive specialist

Some see more upside with Hachimura than others. It could open up his game if he becomes a more threatening long-range shooter. It's important that he continues to add range, since he doesn't project as a plus passer, rebounder or defender. However, he can score in so many ways from those first two levels. He also has the body and necessary skill set for that scoring to translate to the NBA. The safest projection for Hachimura is an offensive-minded rotational forward. 


Stats courtesy of Synergy SportsSports Reference.