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The TKteam selected Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. TK pick in the 2019 NBA draft. 

By Emily Caron
June 20, 2019

The Wizards selected Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Hachimura—a native of Toyama, Japan—is the first-ever Japanese-born player selected during the NBA draft.

Hachimura played three seasons at Gonzaga and became a full-time starter during his final year. He went on to claim West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors in addition to being named a Naismith Award finalist and First-Team All-American.

The 6'8", 230-pound forward averaged a team-high 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game during his junior year on 59.1% shooting from the field. Hachimura started all 37 games for Gonzaga before Texas Tech ended the Bulldogs season in the Elite Eight.

SI NBA draft expert Jeremy Woo’s breakdown: Hachimura continues to intrigue teams with his NBA tools and efficient scoring, and the continued progress of his jump shot is a big key to projecting his value going forward. He’s shot it sparingly from outside, but if he can become a consistent three-point threat (which based on his rapid development in other areas and demonstrable shooting touch, seems possible), he should be able to maximize his skill set as a four-man. He is less explosive than he is strong and smooth, but will be able to keep up physically at the next level. There’s still room for improvement with Hachimura in terms of diversifying his offense, and his defensive effort is solid, although his awareness can be inconsistent. With his productivity and physical gifts, he’s the type of player teams will want to take a chance on.

Jeremy Woo's grade: B-

This is an interesting pick for the Wizards, who are picking a player many teams were split on in terms of value. But there was a sense that Hachimura might be gone shortly after this, and Washington ultimately opted for the guy they liked the most here. There’s some risk involved, but he fits an area of need for Washington, and they’ll hope he turns into a useful scorer and rebounder long-term at forward.

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