WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Washington Wizards selected Rui Hachimura from Gonzaga University with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Hachimura, a 6-8, 230-pound forward, averaged 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting .591 from the field and .417 from three-point range in 37 games (all starts) as a junior last season. He was named the 2018-19 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and helped lead the Bulldogs to a 93-9 (.830) overall record, including a 14-3 (.824) mark in conference tournament and NCAA tournament play, over his three-year career with the Bulldogs.
“Rui is a player that we have watched for several years and we think he has the potential to be a tremendous two-way player with his combination of physical gifts, basketball IQ and work ethic,” said Wizards Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard. “He is a very focused and mature young man who will have the opportunity to come in and compete for a chance to contribute for us right away.”
A native of Sendai, Japan, Hachimura becomes the first Japanese player ever selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. He is a member of the Japanese Men’s National Basketball team, where he averaged a team-high 20.6 points and 11.0 rebounds in the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup.
“Rui is a winner and a competitor who has worked hard to improve throughout his career and he’ll be a good fit for us on the floor, in the locker room and in the community,” said Wizards Head Coach Scott Brooks. “There's a learning curve for all rookies, but I’m confident he’ll be up for any challenge we put it front of him and I’m looking forward to having him on the court to start that process as soon as possible."
The Wizards also acquired Jonathon Simmons and the draft rights to Admiral Schofield (42nd overall) from Philadelphia in exchange for cash considerations.
Schofield, a 6-6, 241-pound forward, played four years at the University of Tennessee, posting career averages of 11.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. He finished as a top-five finalist for the 2019 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award and was named All-SEC First Team by the coaches his senior season. As a senior, he ranked fifth in the SEC in points per game (16.5) and field-goal percentage (.474) and led the SEC in field goals made with 238. He also led Tennessee with 74 three-pointers made while shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc.
“Admiral is a tough but skilled player who fits in with the culture we are creating with our team,” said Sheppard. “We had him highly rated in our draft process and were happy to have the opportunity to add him to the roster with this trade.”