Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura is having a solid year as the sixth man. He’s averaging 13 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in just 24 minutes per game. And he is a player who has consistently been in the trade rumor mill.
On Saturday, he scored 30 points on 13-of-22 shooting, including going 3-of-5 from the three point line in Washington’s win over the Orlando Magic. After the game, Hachimura was asked about trade rumors. Hachimura seemed confident with his game but also added that he can help “here or with other teams.”
In addition, he said “I want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player. I want to be somewhere that likes my game.”
Rui Hachimura on trade rumors— Hoop District (@Hoop_District) January 22, 2023
“I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player. I want to be somewhere that likes my game.”
"I just got to play my game. I know what I can do and I can help the team to wins. It's either here or other teams.” pic.twitter.com/IFzHkxHyPO
If all of that weren’t enough, Hachimura was asked if he requested a trade from the Wizards. He replied, “No comment.”
Rui Hachimura on if he wants a trade: [Raises eyebrows], “I don’t know,” [laughs].— Hoop District (@Hoop_District) January 22, 2023
On if he thinks he will be traded: “I guess, I mean I don’t know.”
On if he asked for a trade: “No comment [smiles].” pic.twitter.com/q8PDffLcrv
I am not someone who likes to read between the lines, especially during this time. But it just seems telling that Hachimura isn’t particularly happy in Washington. Consider the following:
- Hachimura was the Wizards’ starter at power forward for each of his first two NBA seasons from 2019-21. In the last two seasons, he has come off the bench as Kyle Kuzma has become the clear starter in head coach Wes Unseld, Jr.’s rotation.
- The Wizards are reported to do whatever they can to keep Kuzma.
- The Wizards did not offer an extension to Hachimura. Next season, he will be a restricted free agent, so one can make the case that they are waiting to see what happens with any offer sheets he signs. But the Wizards are committing to Kuzma and Hachimura hasn’t had a true breakout year as of yet.
After seeing this video, I’m thinking that Hachimura isn’t happy and may very well be out by Feb. 9. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below.