As the calendar has turned to December, it is time to see how the Washington Wizards first-round pick, Rui Hachimura, is doing compared to the rest of his talented draft class.
At the beginning of every month, I have been comparing how Rui Hachimura is doing vs the rest of his draft class. In my November review, Hachimura’s hot start had him among the top rookies. For this edition, I will be comparing Hachimura to rookies taken after him to explore if the Washington Wizards made the right choice or not.
Through the first quarter of the season, Hachimura has continued to impress for the Wizards. He is averaging 14.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Hachimura has a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 15.05, fourth among all NBA rookies.
While Hachimura’s three-point shooting is disappointing (20.9 percent), it is still a work in progress. He has had some good games from distance.
Against the Clippers, Hachimura went 2-5 from deep as he ended up scoring a career-high 30 points. He’s no Davis Bertans yet, but it was wonderful seeing him find his range. In that game he dominated underneath the hoop, too, scoring 16 points in the paint. He followed that game up with another great performance against the 76ers just two games later. Against Philadelphia, Hachimura shot a whopping, 61.1 percent from the field against one of the best defenses in the league.
Hachimura has started to improve on the boards and over the last four games, he is averaging 7.25 rebounds during that stretch. Besides Thomas Bryant, who is currently on the sideline with a foot injury, the Wizards lack a consistent rebounder. If Hachimura can continue to grab boards in Bryant’s absence (and when he returns), the Wizards won’t be ranked 29th in team rebounding for long.
Hachimura is currently one of the more productive rookies in the NBA. He is an athletic power forward that the team has been missing and still has time to develop a consistent three-point shot. The Wizards should not regret taking Hachimura ninth overall.
But what about the other guys the Wizards could have taken? How do they look?