Rui Hachimura

Wizards Notes: Embiid, Beal, Hachimura

If the Sixers make Joel Embiid available this offseason, the Wizards would be among the best-positioned teams to trade for the big man, as I explain on Heavy.com. If Philadelphia is looking for the best NBA player available to them—one whose shooting would fit in next to Ben Simmons—the franchise should look no further than Bradley Beal.

Like the Simmons-Embiid pairing, the John Wall-Beal duo isn’t without its warts. Wall, who has three years and over $132M left on his contract after this season, isn’t likely to be dealt due to the size of his deal. As great as Beal has been for the franchise this year (he should have been an All-Star), netting a talent like Embiid would be a good deal for the Wizards.

Here’s more from Washington:

  • Former teammate Tomas Satoransky, who inked a three-year, $30MM deal with Chicago during the offseason, has guarded Beal on various occasions this season. He said it is “not the nicest experience,” as he tells Hoops Rumors. “He is just so athletic with it and he elevates when he shoots so high, so all you can do is contest it as best as you can and hope that he is going to miss,” Satoransky said.
  • Coach Scott Brooks would rather the Wizards make the playoffs than land in the lottery and have a chance at a better prospect in the draft, as he tells Chase Hughes of NBC Sports relays. “Developing is creating winning habits,” he said. “Definitely winning is important. You don’t want to just keep developing and not have anything to show for it. We all want to win and that’s the mentality that we have to have… The small details, they’re important. You don’t just start picking up the small details once you have a good team.”
  • Rui Hachimura and Moritz Wagner each missed significant time this year with various injuries, but both have bounced back nicely, Hughes writes in a separate piece. Hachimura missed 23 games with a groin injury and Wagner sat out 25 games with a left ankle sprain.

Wizards Notes: Beal, Wall, Bonga, Hachimura

Bradley Beal still believes he belongs on the All-Star team, but said he’s focused on other things as he addressed reporters last night, including Chase Hughes of NBC Sports. Beal seemed like a glaring omission when the All-Star reserves were announced Thursday. He’s tied for fifth in the league in scoring at 28.8 PPG and has the injury-plagued Wizards on the edge of the playoff race.

“It doesn’t make me or break me. It doesn’t define me as a player,” Beal said of the All-Star snub. “The one thing I won’t do is disrespect anybody that made it. Everybody that made it is deserving of it. I’m past it.”

He also expressed appreciation to all the analysts who have spoken up on his behalf since the rosters were revealed. Beal is the first player scoring more than 28 points per game to be left off the All-Star team since 1985.

“At the end of the day, I’m not about to sit here with this sad cloud over my head like why I should be in. All of my peers come up to me after every game and say it. Coaches say it,” Beal said. “I just wish we had this same mindset three or four years ago when I got snubbed and we had the fourth seed.”

There’s more Wizards news to pass along:

  • During warmups before Saturday’s game, John Wall may have sent a message that he plans to return before the end of the season, writes Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports. In a video tweeted by Hoop District, Wall sinks a turnaround jumper over an assistant coach and tells a group of fans, “Don’t worry, y’all get to see this soon.” Wall has been making progress in his recovery from a ruptured left Achilles tendon.
  • As the Wizards get healthier, some fill-ins are going lose playing time, but coach Scott Brooks said Saturday that he plans to keep Isaac Bonga in the rotation. The second-year swingman has started 29 games in his first season in Washington.
  • Rui Hachimura wasn’t used last night, but the Wizards remain optimistic that he will return soon, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. The rookie forward hasn’t played since suffering a groin injury December 16, and Brooks said he still has to shake off some rust.

Southeast Notes: Hachimura, Wagner, Len, Bertans

Wizards rookie forward Rui Hachimura is close to returning from the groin injury that he suffered on December 16, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington relays. Hachimura required a surgical procedure after getting accidentally kicked by teammate, Isaac Bonga. He is officially listed as questionable to play on Saturday. “Rui has a great chance of coming back (tomorrow) night,” head coach Scott Brooks said. Hachimura will play no more than 20 minutes if he suits up on Saturday, The Athletic’s Fred Katz tweets.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Second-year Wizards power forward Moritz Wagner is expected to return sometime next week from an ankle injury that has sidelined him since December 10, Hughes writes in another piece. Wagner and Hachimura were both selected to the Rising Stars game on Friday. “We already said we’re not going to pass the ball. It’s a two-man game only. A lot of Wizards buckets,” Wagner joked to Hughes.
  • Hawks center Alex Len, who was injured a week ago, will miss at least another 7-10 days, Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. Len, an unrestricted free agent this summer, is dealing with a right hip flexor strain.
  • The Wizards could expect to get a first-round pick and another player if they deal forward Davis Bertans, according to Hughes. It’s unlikely any collection of second-round picks would get the deal done, Hughes adds. The sharpshooting forward has an expiring $7MM contract.

Doncic, Young, Zion Headline Rising Stars Rosters

The NBA has officially announced the 20 rookies and sophomores who have been named to the league’s Rising Stars game for All-Star weekend. Those 20 players, selected by assistant coaches from around the league, will be divided into a U.S. Team and a World Team, as follows:

U.S. Team:

World Team:

Williamson’s inclusion is notable since he has appeared in just four games due to injuries. It’s not surprising that the NBA found a way to get him into the game, since he’s one of the most exciting prospects to enter the league in years, but it’s a tough break for youngsters who have been on the court since the fall for contenders, such as Sixers wing Matisse Thybulle. or Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr.

Snubbed players like Thybulle, Porter, and others could eventually make their way into the Rising Stars game if players have to pull out due to injuries, or if All-Stars like Doncic and Young opt not to play in both events.

The Rising Stars game will take place in Chicago on Friday, February 14.

Wizards Notes: Grant, Trades, Hachimura

The Wizards are in position to make some moves at the deadline, and if that happens the team could call up a few of its G League players. Shane Connuck of Wizards Xtra breaks down which players could get an opportunity with Washington, including Jerian Grant, who has been with the Go-Go for most of the season.

Here’s more from Washington:

  • The Wizards have made a trade leading up to trade deadline in each of the past 10 seasons, NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes writes. The team dealt Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr. in separate trades a year ago. This is Tommy Sheppard‘s first year as the team’s new head of basketball operations, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s as active at the deadline as Ernie Grunfeld was.
  • Rui Hachimura is getting close to returning to the court, as Hughes relays in another piece. The rookie went through a full practice without any limitations over the weekend.
  • Hachimura spoke about Kobe Bryant‘s impact on him, telling the media that Bryant was his hero (via Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports). “Three years ago, during [the] Final Four, [Bryant gave] a special pair of shoes as a surprise to the team. Not only that, he talked about what Mamba Mentality is and what people should be before basketball players,” Hachimura said. “He was more than just a basketball player.”

Injury Updates: R. Jackson, Hachimura, Wagner, R. Williams

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson hopes to play tonight after being sidelined since the second game of the season with a back injury, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Jackson is officially listed as questionable for the game against the Kings. He’ll be on a minutes restriction and isn’t sure if he’ll be used as a starter or a reserve (Twitter link).

“I don’t know how well I’m going to feel. Adrenaline is a different thing so I imagine I’ll probably be winded a little early,” Jackson said (Twitter link).

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura has been cleared for all basketball activities, head coach Scott Brooks told reporters, including Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link). Hachimura hasn’t played since suffering a groin injury December 16. “It’ll be great to have him back before the All-Star break, but you never know,” Brooks said (Twitter link).
  • The Wizards also got good news on Moritz Wagner, who has been cleared for non-contact activities after a check-up in New York City, Buckner tweets. Wagner has missed the past month with a sprained left ankle.
  • Injured Celtics center Robert Williams was able to do some running Tuesday and is set for another scan and evaluation February 4, the team tweeted. Team doctors expect to have a more concrete idea of when he can start playing again after that session. Williams has a bone edema in his left hip and won’t return until after the All-Star break.
  • Cavaliers center Ante Zizic is out indefinitely, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. He has been diagnosed with a vestibular condition that has forced him to miss the past five games.
  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone told reporters that among his injured rotation players, Gary Harris is the closest to returning, relays Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link). “When I say closest, I don’t know how close that is,” Malone explained.Paul (Millsap) and Jamal (Murray) are still a ways off.”

Rui Hachimura Could Be Out Until February

Wizards rookie power forward Rui Hachimura, absent since suffering a groin injury on December 16, may not return to the court until the calendar changes to February, according to Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington. Hachimura has missed 16 straight contests with the nagging affliction.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks provided the update on Hachimura’s new health status ahead of the Wizards’ 140-111 loss to the Raptors last night.

Before going down, Hachimura was having a solid first season in D.C. The 6’8″ 21-year-old from Japan was taken No. 9 overall by the Wizards in the 2019 draft. In 25 games with the Wizards (all starts), Hachimura has averaged 13.9 PPG (fourth-best among all rookies), 5.8 RPG (first-best), and 1.6 APG. He is also shooting 48.2% from the field and a stellar 85.2% (17th-best) from the free-throw line.

DePrisco notes that Hachimura felt like a prime candidate to make the 2020 All-Star Weekend’s Rookie-Sophomore Game ahead of the injury, but that this new scheduling setback has thrown a possible wrench in an appearance for the talented Wizards rookie.

Wizards Notes: Hachimura, Thomas, Draft, Wall

Rui Hachimura will be re-evaluated in about two weeks as he recovers from “a minor procedure” following a groin injury in a December 16 game, the Wizards announced in a press release. This is the first time the organization has acknowledged that Hachimura underwent a medical procedure, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

The rookie forward met with reporters prior to tonight’s game to provide an update on his condition. The injury resulted from an accidental kick by Isaac Bonga, and Hachimura said he forgave his teammate right away (Twitter link).

“He’s a good kid. It was an accident, you know,” he said. “I saw the video a couple times too. It was like, kind of — I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain but I think he felt bad too. He texted me right after.”

There’s more from Washington, D.C.:

  • Isaiah Thomas was fined $25K for making contact with an official in last night’s game, the league announced on Twitter. Thomas, who was ejected, insisted today that it was an accident, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. He explained that he lost his balance after being pushed in the back. “It was unintentional contact,” Thomas said. “Most importantly I would like to move on from it but I definitely didn’t mean to put my hand on a ref.” (Twitter link)
  • With the Wizards likely headed for the lottery again, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington takes an early look at the draft. He considers former Memphis center James Wiseman the best fit and wonders how the team would handle a guard-heavy draft after making major investments in John Wall and Bradley Beal. Hughes adds that Washington has moved some of its scouting resources to watch LaMelo Ball in Australia and R.J. Hampton in New Zealand.
  • In a separate story, coach Scott Brooks tells Hughes that Wall is filling a valuable role as an unofficial assistant coach as he recovers from injury, but is eager to start playing again. “It hurts John not to be out on the court playing. That guy’s a competitor,” Brooks said. “(When you’re out with an injury), you appreciate it more. I hate to say it, especially with the year we’ve had, injuries can happen with the next play. You don’t really know what’s going to happen, so you play your best on every play. When it’s taken away from you, it bothers you.”

Wizards’ Hachimura, Wagner Not Close To Returning

11:29am: Brooks also offered an update on Moritz Wagner‘s ankle injury today, per Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). Wagner is expected to be in his walking boot for at least another week and may require an additional 10-14 days once he’s out of the boot before he’s ready to return. In other words, he’s expected to be out of action for at least two or three more weeks.

11:11am: Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura isn’t close to making it back onto the court, head coach Scott Brooks told reporters today. As Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington and Fred Katz of The Athletic relay (via Twitter), Brooks said Hachimura is still expected to miss multiple weeks as a result of his groin injury.

Hachimura, the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, was off to a solid start in his rookie season, averaging 13.9 PPG and 5.8 RPG in 25 games (29.2 MPG). However, his groin issue has sidelined him for Washington’s last seven games – he hasn’t played since December 16 in Detroit – and will keep him on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

The Wizards have been hit harder than any NBA team by the injury bug in recent weeks. In addition to missing Hachimura, the Wizards have also been without Thomas Bryant since December 1, Moritz Wagner since December 10, and Davis Bertans since December 21, decimating the club’s frontcourt depth. Additionally, John Wall and C.J. Miles are out with presumed season-ending injuries and Bradley Beal is day-to-day with a leg issue.

As long as Hachimura and the Wizards’ other bigs are sidelined, the team figures to continue leaning heavily on Ian Mahinmi, as well as newcomers Johnathan Williams and Anzejs Pasecniks.

Injuries Continue Piling Up For Wizards

The injury situation continues to get worse in Washington and there’s little sign of relief. The short-handed Wizards received permission to sign two hardship players this week, adding Gary Payton II and Johnathan Williams, and both were in the starting lineup for tonight’s game with the Knicks.

The latest Wizard on the shelf is leading scorer Bradley Beal, whose consecutive games streak has ended at 194. Beal is dealing with “right lower leg soreness,” tweets Candace Bucker of The Washington Post, who adds that the schedule factored into the decision to keep him out of action tonight. Beal will get a three-day rest before the team begins a stretch of eight games in 14 days. He left Thursday’s game against the Pistons in the third quarter, but an MRI showed no significant damage to the leg.

Coach Scott Brooks provided pre-game updates on Davis Bertans, who is sidelined with a quad injury, and Moritz Wagner, who is dealing with a sprained left ankle, relays Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link). Brooks said it will be “probably a good week” before Bertans can return, while Wagner remains in a walking boot and hasn’t practiced since suffering the injury nearly three weeks ago. Brooks said it’s “for sure gonna take him some time” before Wagner is ready to play again.

Brooks also expects Rui Hachimura will need at least another week to recover from a groin injury, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Brooks said the rookie forward is “still sore,” adding, “I anticipate he won’t play next week.” That means he’ll be sidelined at least another three to five games.

Hardship exceptions can be granted to teams with at least four players who have missed three or more games due to injury or illness and are expected to miss at least two more weeks. The Wizards originally qualified because of John WallC.J. MilesThomas Bryant and Jordan McRae, although McRae played Thursday and Bryant appears close to returning.