Rui Hachimura

Wizards Sign First-Rounder Hachimura

The Wizards have signed their first-round pick, forward Rui Hachimura, the team’s PR department tweets.

The ninth overall pick in the draft can max out at $4.469MM in his first season under the rookie scale stipulations. He can make $4.693MM in his second season and $4.916MM in his third year.

The West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Hachimura averaged 19.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.5 APG for Gonzaga in his junior season while shooting 59.1% from the field.

Wizards Notes: Hachimura, Schofield, Simmons

Washington concluded a three-day minicamp today in which several notable players participated in full-court scrimmages and drills. No. 9 overall pick Rui Hachimura and No. 42 overall pick Admiral Schofield were among the prospects participating in drills for the Wizards. Schofield believes the two rookies can play well together, as he told Hoops Rumors and other media members in attendance.

“I can play multiple positions. So can [Hachimura],” Schofield said. “He can play the wing and the forward. That’s going to make us pretty lethal. We just have to get used to the [NBA level] and how things are done here, understanding from the vets how to pace ourselves and how to play the game the right way.”

Schofield, whose rights were traded to the Wizards in the Jonathon Simmons deal on draft night, initially thought he was going to Philadelphia. The 22-year-old said he actually found out about his draft spot through Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter, as I recently passed along.

“[My agent] told me I was going to get picked…but I saw the tweet before my agent called, which was pretty cool. Woj is elite,” Schofield said.

Here’s more from Washington:

  • The Wizards and Jonathon Simmons have agreed to move back the guarantee deadline on his deal from July 1 to July 8, sources confirm. Fred Katz of The Athletic was the first to report the news.
  • While no definite decision has been made, last year’s second-round pick Issuf Sanon is likely to spend another season abroad, a source tells Hoops Rumors. The organization is impressed by the progress Sanon is making. “He came back lighter,” assistant coach Robert Pack said during a session with the media. “He’s playing with a little more confidence.”
  • Hachimura said undrafted free agent Justin Robinson has helped him adjust to living in Washington D.C., as he told Hoops Rumors and other media members in attendance. “He’s from [the area],” Hachimura said. “Justin’s great…we talk a lot.” Robinson, who has been referred to by the team as the 61st pick in the draft, is expected to play for the team’s G League, as Candace Buckner of The Washington Post recently wrote.

Southeast Notes: Hachimura, Petrucelli, McDaniels, Wizards

Regardless of how well Wizards newly-drafted rookie forward Rui Hachimura performs in the NBA moving forward, he’s already a superstar in his home country of Japan, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

Hachimura, the first ever Japanese-born lottery pick in the NBA, has a rabid following that was on display Friday when the 21-year-old Gonzaga product was introduced by the Wizards. Per Hughes, there were over 40 members of the Japanese media in attendance from over 20 outlets, all excited for the opportunity to be a part of Hachimura’s press conference.

“I’m used to it. This is kind of small,” Hachimura joked about the media attention at the Wizards’ press conference. “When I was in Japan, there were couple of press conferences like this and there were more people.”

Because of his unique situation, Hachimura has the chance to be the most marketable player on the Wizards as a rookie, John Wall and Bradley Beal included. He already has endorsement deals with Air Jordan and Nissin Food Products, and one Japanese reporter even went as far as opining that Hachimura could be as big as MLB star Ichiro Suzuki one day. The Wizards certainly hope so.

There’s more from the Southeast Division this afternoon:

  • JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors is reporting that free agent sharpshooter John Petrucelli has committed to play summer league with the Magic. Petrucelli, 26, signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Magic in October, before being waived two days later.
  • In some negative news coming out of Charlotte, Brendan Marks and Michael Gordon of The Charlotte Observer are reporting that Hornets second-round draft pick Jalen McDaniels was sued by two female high school classmates around six months ago. Criminal charges were not pursued, but the duo claim in a civil suit that McDaniels recorded them performing sexual acts without their consent.
  • Columnist Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post opines that the Wizards will likely end up promoting from within and hire interim head of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard as Ernie Grunfeld‘s replacement.

Draft Updates: Green Room, Culver, Samanic, More

The NBA continues to invite potential first-round picks to the Green Room for next Thursday’s draft, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that Nassir Little (UNC), Romeo Langford (Indiana), and Tyler Herro (Kentucky) were the next invitees after the initial nine-player group.

According to Givony (Twitter links), Rui Hachimura (Gonzaga), Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), PJ Washington (Kentucky) also received Green Room invites, as did international prospect Sekou Doumbouya. That brings us to 16 prospects who are expected to be in the Green Room on draft night, with four others still expected to be invited, per Givony.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Within his latest mock draft, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cites league sources who say that both the Suns and Hawks are high on Texas Tech swingman Jarrett Culver. However, it’s possible that neither team will have a shot at him without trading up — Woo has Culver coming off the board at No. 5 to the Cavaliers in his mock.
  • Croatian forward Luka Samanic has a busy workout schedule, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link), who adds the Warriors and Spurs to the list of teams Samanic has auditioned for. He also has workouts lined up with the Hawks and Bucks.
  • UCF guard Aubrey Dawkins has worked out for the Celtics, Pelicans, Knicks, and Raptors, and still has the Mavericks, Rockets, and Hornets on his workout schedule, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
  • Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com (Twitter links) provides a pair of updates on pre-draft workouts for prospects, reporting that Chris Silva (South Carolina) is working out for the Heat and Spurs, while Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s) worked out for the Cavaliers and Mavericks and has the Sixers and Rockets on tap.

Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura Declares For Draft

Gonzaga’s junior power forward Rui Hachimura has entered his name in the 2019 NBA draft pool, he announced on Monday. According to a press release from the program, Hachimura will hire an agent and pursue a professional career.

“The last three years at Gonzaga have been a dream come true, and now I’d like to pursue my next dream of playing in the NBA,” Hachimura said in a statement. “This was a significant decision for my family and myself. I just want to thank everyone at Gonzaga, especially the coaching staff and all of my teammates who went to battle with me and are my brothers for life.”

The West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Hachimura took a huge step forward in his junior year for the Zags, averaging 19.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 1.5 APG while shooting 59.1% from the field.

Hachimura is ranked 18th on ESPN’s big board, though Jeff Goodman of Stadium notes (via Twitter) that many NBA executives believe he’ll be drafted in the 8-to-15 range. Wherever he comes off the board, the 21-year-old is set to become the first Japanese player ever selected in the NBA draft.

As Mike Schmitz details in ESPN’s scouting report, Hachimura projects as a versatile frontcourt defender and has a promising shooting touch, though he’s much stronger from mid-range than from beyond the arc. The 6’9″ forward has an “intriguing physical profile” for a modern power forward, Schmitz writes.