Washington Wizards: 3 Goals for Rui Hachimura next season

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura
(Photo by Kim Klement – Pool/Getty Images) /

Goal #2: Earn More Minutes at Small Forward

The Washington Wizards played Hacimura mainly at power forward last season. However, he has the skillset and size to play more minutes at small forward. Continuing to expand his range, as I mentioned in the previous goal, will pay huge dividends. Yes, he’s a very efficient finisher from within 16 feet, but he has to stretch out beyond that to become more of a threat. Offensively, he must make opponents fear him from every area on the floor.

As a rookie, he proved that he can score on the block or the perimeter. With the NBA moving towards positionless basketball, the Wizards need to take advantage of his versatility. Off the rebound, Rui can lead the break because he’s very comfortable handling the ball. He only averaged 1.8 assists per game as a rookie, though. If he wants to run the point forward off the glass, his playmaking will have to get better. However, he already has the tight handle and strong finishing ability to excel at small forward.

After one year, players around the league see Rui switching to the three when it’s all said and done. Bradley Beal discussed Rui’s potential with NBC Sports Washington during the broadcast of the Wizards 118-100 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in their second bubble game. Beal said, ”Honestly, I think Rui is going to end up being a three. When his career is over with, he’s going to end up playing the three.”

He’s not the only player who believes that, though. After watching him play last year, the 13-year vet, Jared Dudley, also sees Rui transcending to the small forward position soon.