RUI HACHIMURA 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Report
WEIGHT: 230 POUNDS
POSITION: POWER FORWARD/SMALL FORWARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: LIKELY LOTTERY PICK
- Coveted combination of size (6’8), mass (230lbs), and wingspan (7’2) that translates well in today’s NBA game
- He will flash abilities that will captivate NBA scouts: smooth footwork, effortless dunks, fade-away jump shots, and fearlessness in big moments.
- Excellent intangibles; team staff and those around the program gush about his work ethic and his overall quality as a person
- Has improved his ball-handling and pull-up game
- Still very raw; will take lots of dedicated coaching/mentoring and patience to unlock all of his true basketball potential
- He doesn’t quite have the raw athletic tools to be an elite player at this point in time
- Seems more comfortable around the hoop, raising concerns about whether he can be a true wing player in the NBA, or if he’s an undersized/”tweener” big man
- Defensive potential is questionable; has the tools to be a very good one, but still-developing basketball acumen plus lack of elite athleticism raises questions
Rui Hachimura’s somewhat bumpy transition to the United States and college basketball hope was counterbalanced by all the flashes of potential the coaches at Gonzaga saw from him — and NBA scouts can’t help but to notice themselves. After originally being “discovered” at the U-17 Championships in Dubai in 2014, when he outplayed future NBA players like Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, and Josh Jackson, Hachimura struggled in his freshman year at Gonzaga, leaving many to question his NBA future.
But this year, as a junior, Hachimura has assumed the mantle of “the man” for Gonzaga after preseason surgery to teammate Killian Tillie, averaging 22.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game through mid-December. This includes taking over the game against Duke (and shining brighter than any player on the Blue Devils’ star-studded freshman class), and knocking down the game-winning mid-range jumper against Washington (despite four defenders collapsing down on him).
There are people who want to refer to Hachimura as “the Japanese Giannis Antetokounmpo.” While there are some similarities, in terms of a player with raw athletic potential of which the surface is still being scratched, you could make a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” projection based on the immense leap he made from his freshman to sophomore year at Gonzaga. Did he maximize his potential with the jump, or is there the potential he’ll continue to make leaps and bounds of that sort?
A main staple of Japan’s national teams for the last few years has made Hachimura into a very intriguing NBA prospect. He thought about leaving last year for the 2018 NBA Draft, but we think he made the wise decision to return. He is having an outstanding start to the 2018-19 campaign and has Gonzaga among the nation’s elite teams. Hachimura’s stock is rising as fast as any other college player in the nation at this point in time. Once looked upon as a fringe first round pick, the talented combo forward is solidifying himself as a 2019 NBA Draft lottery pick.
HIGHLIGHTS OF RUI HACHIMURA
Which current NBA player reminds you of Hachimura?
Where do you believe he will get drafted in the 2019 NBA Draft?
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