Rui Hachimura has been the Wizards’ power forward since arriving in the NBA two years ago, and despite all the offseason moves, general manager Tommy Sheppard doesn’t see that changing.
“I don’t see Rui’s role changing,” Sheppard said, via Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “He’s started since his rookie year.”
Washington has undergone quite the makeover, trading star guard Russell Westbrook to the Lakers and landing the likes of forward Kyle Kuzma, forward/center Montrezl Harrell and shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
But it appears Hachimura will be among the constants. That’s not a bad thing. In 57 games last season, he averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, shooting 48 percent from the field.
More out of Washington
- Meanwhile, Sheppard indicated the new faces could indeed mean a new role for second-year swingman Deni Avdija. “I think it gives him a little bit more confidence if he comes off the bench,” Sheppard said. “In that second unit, he could be a secondary playmaker. He can do a lot more things that he wasn’t able to do in that starting lineup last year.”
- But with training camp still to come, Sheppard cautioned that no roles are nailed down, other than those of Huchimara, Dinwiddie and star guard Bradley Beal. “Certainly, if he earns more minutes, he earns more minutes,” Sheppard said of Avdija.
- In a separate piece, Hughes pointed out that Holiday and Raul Neto could have quite a training camp battle for the role of top point guard off the bench, especially given their statistical similarities.