UPDATED: May 10th, 2018
Rui Hachimura – Gonzaga
CPP Big Board Ranking: NOT IN 2018 NBA DRAFT – Projected Lottery
Weight: 225 lbs
Age/Birthday: 20 (2/8/98)
Hometown: Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan
High School: Meisei HS (Japan)
(Sean Bock 2/9/18)
After playing a small role on Gonzaga’s 2017 Final Four team, Hachimura blew up this summer at the U19 FIBA World Cup representing his home country, Japan. In seven games in Egypt, Hachimura averaged 20.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. Hachimura is the total package size wise for a prospect at his position. Standing 6-foot-8, Hachimura possesses a 7-foot wingspan and is a sturdy build at 225 pounds with solid, broad shoulders and a strong overall frame. What makes Hachimura an intriguing NBA prospect, though, is he is very smooth on the floor for someone of his size and can do a multitude of things on both ends of the floor which maximizes his impact. Though he doesn’t play huge minutes for the ‘Zags, it’s evident Hachimura has the potential to become a critical piece for an NBA franchise down the line.
As I touched on earlier, NBA scouts are infatuated with Hachimura’s fluidity at his height. His athleticism is another tool that allows him to create a majority of his opportunities. Hachimura’s athletic ability gives him an advantage around the rim as he’s a consistent finisher at close range and can get into the lane at will. Hachimura is aggressive when it comes to taking the ball to the tin. He has a knack for getting to the foul line and is shooting a solid percent tally on the year. To keep defenses honest, Hachimura has developed an outside jumper which ranges from 15 feet to just behind the arc. Though Hachimura hasn’t attempted a vast amount of 3-pointers on the year, defenses have to be on their toes when guarding him because he’s still a threat from deep. When in full attack mode, there’s no easy way to stop Hachimura. If he can develop a consistent stroke from 15-feet and beyond, he’ll be a matchup nightmare in the NBA.
Hachimura’s production on the offensive end is incredible, but there are still some minor hiccups in his game that need to be cured. Primarily, Hachimura needs to improve his ball handling skills, the main thing that holds him back from maximizing his impact on the floor. Hachimura’s lack of ability to handle the ball has to do with his turnover issues, as he has an assist to turnover ratio of about 0.5:1. Though Hachimura is great at attacking the basket, he could add a couple of moves to his arsenal that would make him more challenging to defend around the rim. Most of Hachimura’s buckets in the paint are either dunks or layups; he has yet to display a useful floater or runner. If he can add a few more types of shots to his game, he would be an even tougher player to stop down low.
Player Outlook & NBA Comparison: JaMychal Green… sorta
It’s hard to compare Hachimura to any NBA player because he has such a unique skill-set. A fair comparison would be a JaMychal Green of the Memphis Grizzlies. A 6-foot-9 slashing forward, Green is strong and makes a living crashing the offensive glass. He also has the ability to step out from 15 feet and beyond as he is a career 34 percent 3-point shooter. Like Hachimura, Green has a good feel for the game and doesn’t try to do too much on the offensive end which makes him a valuable asset to any team. If Hachimura can add some more muscle and improve his leaping ability, he could play a role similar to Green which every NBA team needs.
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