Our series on Washington Wizards players continues with Rui Hachimura.
The 2020-21 NBA season was Hachimura’s second in the NBA, where he maintained a stat line quite identical to his rookie season (13.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in 57 appearances). If there’s a game that highlighted the best of his skillset, it was on May 3 when the Wizards defeated the Pacers 154-141 when Hachimura scored 27 points on 12-of-19 shooting, including two three-pointers.
With Russell Westbrook’s addition to the team this season, there was a good chance that Hachimura’s production would drop significantly, but it didn’t, except for rebounding. With his scoring, Hachimura shot about 47.8 percent and improved on that in May when he shot 53 percent from the field and 61.5 percent during the playoffs.
It isn’t often when a young player like Hachimura actually averages more points per game in the postseason with two of the NBA’s best guards alongside him. But he managed to be a more effective player in the playoffs than the regular season and this will provide positive momentum for him next season and even sooner.
Before Hachimura had a strong May and playoff run individually, he was an otherwise pedestrian performer. As Kevin Broom noted in April, his production, when calculated through a per period basis and with the Player Production Average (PPA), was not great. In fact, Hachimura’s PPA score fell from 79 to 76 when the regular season was over. While it accounted for his stronger May, it also took his production in April where he barely averaged double digits in scoring and shot just 41.9 percent from the field.
What’s next for Hachimura?
Hachimura is on contract next season for $4.9 million. He has a fourth-year team option for $6.2 million which the Wizards can offer him by early next season. We can expect to see Hachimura back next year barring an unforeseen trade and that the Wizards offer the team option.
This summer, we can also expect to see Hachimura suit up for the Japan men’s national basketball team in the 2020 Olympics. He will be expected to be the primary offensive option for the team so it will be fun to see how he and the rest of the team performs.