Washington Wizards: Who will Rui Hachimura replace in the starting five?

Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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With Rui Hachimura’s return coming soon, they may need a change in the starting five to get the Washington Wizards back on track. But whose spot will he take?

The Washington Wizards have been struggling as of late. After starting the year 10-3, they’ve lost 3 straight and 8 out of their last 12 games. Six of those losses were by double digits. That’s not good for a team hoping to stay afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. With 57 games still left to be played, Washington has more than enough time to go on another hot streak though.

Thankfully, the Wizards have some reinforcements returning to the lineup really soon. Rui Hachimura, who missed the entire start of the season because of personal reasons, is very close to playing again. He’s been practicing with the team these past few weeks and has been spotted on the Wizards bench during games as well. Rui’s presence back on the court can, hopefully, uplift a Washington squad that’s been facing some adversity.

As I mentioned earlier, the Wizards are reeling after a hot start. Their defense has fallen off a cliff, and the offense isn’t really clicking either. And to be honest, their current starting five of Spencer Dinwiddie, Bradley Beal, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, and Daniel Gafford has been underwhelming. This 5-man unit is currently 8-9 with an offensive rating of 96.0 and a defensive rating of 105.6. In 205 total minutes played together, they have a -9.6 net rating and a 46.7 effective field goal percentage.

That’s not great. It’s very apparent that this group still has a lot of room for improvement. And maybe a minor change in the lineup is the one slight change that could end up making a vast difference. I’m not saying Rui Hachimura is the savior the Wizards have been desperately hoping for. But his insertion back into the starting five could re-ignite the spark Washington had to begin the year.

So I guess the only question remaining is which player in the starting five gets replaced once Rui Hachimura returns to action?

Here’s a look at 3 players, who are the most likely candidates!