Story By: Erin Zollars
File Photos By: Sol Tucker
I will be the first to admit, I didn’t watch many Gonzaga games this season, but for that matter who really did? What I did watch tonight was the Wizards hopefully making a good 9th pick tonight in the 2019 NBA Draft by selecting Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura.
Hachimura is the reigning West Coast Conference player of the year, averaging 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs last season. He is also the first Japanese player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
The Wizards have had their eyes on him for a few weeks now and were pretty much set on making this pick unless something had happened where one of their other options may have been passed on, but that was not the case and the Wizards hopefully have found a replacement for Otto Porter.
The big problem for the Wizards is they have quite a few free agents that are questionable at best for their return and we already know this season will be without John Wall. Will Bradley Beal return for the season? All of these unknowns for a team that doesn’t even have a President of Basketball Operations/ GM in place. We hope that the experience of Tommy Sheppard will help in that absence.
Many have compared him to Jabari Parker and he possess some of the skill set of outside scoring that Otto Porter left behind. Anyway you look at it, Hachimura is a great story and one worth paying attention to this summer.