The Wizards have started trade talks centered on forward Rui Hachimura ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline to make a deal, per Shams Charania and Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
Hachimura, who is set to become a free agent after the season, is drawing interest from several Western Conference teams, Charania and Robbins reported.
Sources have told Hoops Wire that the Jazz and Suns are among those with trade interest in Hachimura.
While fellow Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma has been drawing most of the trade interest, it is Hachimura that the Wizards appear more willing to move. That would help free things up financially after the season to re-sign Kuzma, per Charania and Robbins.
As it stands, the Wizards do indeed have a bit of a logjam at forward, with Kuzma, Hachimura, Kristaps Porzingis, and Deni Avdija at the position. It seems the Wizards’ priority is keeping Kuzma and Porzingis.
“One of the questions Wizards officials must reckon with is whether the team can keep its veteran nucleus together and build out the rest of its roster without exceeding next season’s league luxury-tax threshold, which is currently projected at $162 million.” Charania and Robbins wrote.
Hachimura, 24, is 6-foot-8 and was selected by the Wizards out of Gonzaga with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He is averaging 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 28 games this season, shooting a career-best .492 from the field.
The best season of his four-year career came in 2020-21, his second in the league, when he averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 57 games.
The Wizards have started trade talks centered on Rui Hachimura, potentially clearing a logjam at forward, sources tell me and @JoshuaBRobbins.
More details, including what this could mean for Kyle Kuzma, at @TheAthletic: https://t.co/g6d34NVTCB
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 18, 2023
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