Washington Wizards: Rui Hachimura reeneters NBA Rookie Ladder

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /

After a short hiatus and a monster week out west, Rui Hachimura is back to represent the Washington Wizards as a top-tier rookie.

Before this season began, I predicted that Rui Hachimura would make an All-Rookie team with the Washington Wizards.

While that is far from a guarantee, Hachimura has looked good to great through the team’s first 20 games. After arguably the best week yet of his career, Hachimura finds himself back among NBA.com’s Rookie Ladder.

Each week the Rookie Ladder looks at all the top-performing rookies in the NBA and creates a mini-power ranking for the league’s newest players.

This week’s edition had Hachimura ranked fourth behind Eric Paschall, Kendrick Nunn, and Ja Morant, and ahead of RJ Barrett. This is the third time in six weeks that Hachimura has been included on the Rookie Ladder. After debuting at the fifth spot in the first ladder of the season, Hachimura fell out of the top-5 for a bit and missed the next two editions before returning for one week as the third-best rookie in the November 14 edition.

Despite being in its sixth installment this season, the Rookie Ladder has only featured eight players. Hachimura’s three appearances rank him as the fifth most frequently named rookie on the Rookie Ladder, and the third most frequently named lottery pick. Ja Morant, Kendrick Nunn, and RJ Barrett have each been on the list for all six weeks and Eric Paschall has been featured four times.

Don’t be surprised if we see Hachimura back on the next ladder, either. He’s kicked off this week of performances with a monster game against the Philadelphia 76ers: 27 points, 7 rebounds, some great defense on Embiid, and a home win against an Eastern Conference contender.

Next. Rui Hachimura did what he's done all season for 30-point performance. dark

Hachimura is far from a finished product, and there are still a lot of games to be played, but the early success is worth getting excited over. His confidence is growing and was on full display against Embiid. He seems to learn from his mistakes and adds new wrinkles to his game each week. At the very least, he already looks like a solid role player for the Wizards, and he’s only 21.