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2019 NBA Draft Profile: Rui Hachimura

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Will the Trail Blazers look to Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura in the 2019 NBA Draft when it comes time to make their selection at pick No. 25?

NCAA Basketball Tournament - West Regional - Anaheim Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Trail Blazers’ memorable postseason run might be over, but the the 2019 NBA Draft is right around the corner. Portland’s President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey currently has the No. 25 pick in the draft at his disposal and he will look to supplement the Blazers’ roster with a talented prospect in the latter stages of the first round. Today we look at Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Rui Hachimura.

Rui Hachimura – Gonzaga

  • Height: 6’8”
  • Weight: 230
  • Wingspan: 7’2”
  • Shooting Hand: Right
  • Position: Forward
  • Age: 21
  • Projected Draft Range: 10-22

2018-19 Statistics

  • PPG: 19.7 | Per 40: 26.1
  • REB: 6.5 | Per 40: 8.6
  • AST: 1.5 | Per 40: 2.0
  • STL: 0.9 | Per 40: 1.3
  • BLK: 0.7 | Per 40: 1.0
  • FG%: 56.8
  • 3P%: 41.7 (36 attempts)
  • FT%: 73.9

Strengths:

There’s a lot to like about Hachimura’s fit as a versatile forward in the NBA. At 6’8” with a 7’2” wingspan, he has the physical tools that teams value. To go along with his long, sturdy frame, Hachimura is athletic. He is not the explosive leaper that teammate Brandon Clarke is, but he possesses quick first step that gives him an edge on drives. Offense is where Hachimura shines, showing a well-rounded game as a driver, post-scorer and serviceable spot up shooter. He improved his shot every year in college, giving teams hope that he can evolve into a consistent three-point threat. He’s comfortable handling the ball and pulling up from midrange, but he also works hard to get open shots through constant off-ball movement.

Weaknesses:

Hachimura has grown significantly as a player, but he is still a raw prospect and it shows in his slow decision-making on both ends of the court. He has the physical attributes of someone who can potentially be a good defender, but he gets caught in bad position more often than not. Part of his defensive deficiencies can be tied to his relative inexperience with organized basketball. From age 14 to his time in Spokane, Hachimura’s primary focus revolved around his offensive output. Right now, his defensive upside is based on measurements, not his instincts. His lack of experience isn’t exclusive to the defensive end. Despite shooting above 40 percent from beyond the arc last year, Hachimura is far from a high-volume three-point shooter.

2018-19 Season:

Hachimura had a highly successful junior campaign with Gonzaga. After coming off the bench his first two years, he started every game for the Bulldogs. His work in the spotlight earned him WCC Player of the Year honors and he was crucial to Gonzaga’s run to the Elite Eight. Hachimura set the tone early in the year with stellar performance against a loaded Duke team in the Maui Invitational—capping off a preseason tournament run that crowned him the MVP of the event

Overall Assessment:

Regardless of his noteworthy flaws, Hachimura’s upside at a position of need is hard to pass on. He improved every year in college and finished as the leading scorer on one of the best teams in the country. Capable of producing points on multiple levels with athleticism that lends itself to defensive versatility, Hachimura will attract several suitors on draft night. Paired with the right staff, he has all the tools to blossom into a legitimate threat on both ends of the court.

Overall Fit:

The Blazers enter draft night with obvious holes in their frontcourt. Al-Farouq Aminu, Rodney Hood, and Jake Layman are all free agents. Portland will require help in order to secure Hachimura. He will need to slide to No. 25 or the Blazers will have to get creative in order to move up to select the former Bulldogs standout. As Blazer’s Edge contributor Nate Mann pointed out, Olshey believes that instant-impact prospects are rare. In order to overcome that, he often opts to select high-upside players. Hachimura fits the bill. If he reaches his potential, Hachimura would give the Blazers the two-way forward that they covet.


Do you want to see Hachimura in a Blazers jersey next season? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.