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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Report: Wizards moving to trade their former lottery pick

Wes Unseld Jr. looking on

Nov 7, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Washington Wizards Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr. during the first quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards and one of their homegrown players appear to be headed for Breakup City.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the Wizards have begun trade talks centered on forward Rui Hachimura. Charania adds that moving Hachimura, who will be a restricted free agent after the season, could potentially clear up the congestion in Washington’s frontcourt. It would also make it easier for them to re-sign Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis, both of whom can become free agents this summer as well.

Hachimura, who turns 25 next month, was the Wizards’ lottery pick (No. 9 overall) in the 2019 NBA Draft. He is an adept offensive player with a nifty post-up game and an above-average jump shot for a power forward (35.8 percent on threes for his career).

But Hachimura has a pretty mediocre line of 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game so far this season. That is, in part, due to Hachimura getting less than 25 minutes a night behind the 20-point-per-game scorers Kuzma and Porzingis. Hachimura also recently indicated on social media that he was unhappy with Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr., so perhaps a trade would indeed be best for all parties involved.

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