While praising Hachimura’s “soft touch from midrange” and “speed to score in transition,” O’Donnell knocked him for his defensive struggles, carelessness with the ball and the fact that he didn’t take too many three-pointers at Gonzaga.
“Hachimura could make this grade look foolish if he improves defensively, makes strides as a passer, and learns to shoot from three at a greater volume,” O’Donnell wrote. “Until then, he projects as a player who likely puts up empty stats.”
After offering brief praise for Hachimura’s ability to shoot off the dribble and the fact that he might be able to step in and contribute right away, Tjarks knocked him for getting by only because of his size in the college game and for below-average three-point shooting.
“Hachimura is a bit of a project for a lottery pick; he will have to improve as a passer and defensive player to be successful in the NBA,” Tjarks wrote.
“The consensus was that Gonzaga’s Hachimura was a lottery pick and a wonderful story, but this seems like quite a stretch,” Planos wrote. “Washington entered the day bereft of a general manager and picked like it.”
Planos literally had nothing good to say about this pick, noting that FiveThirtyEight’s model projected Hachimura’s upside as comparable to a second-round selection.
“The Wizards need any help they can get,” he wrote. “And yet they settled on a below-average defender who will likely need time in the incubator before he delivers on a nightly basis.”
Seth Walder, ESPN
Brian Fonseca, NJ.com: C (for Wizards’ entire draft)
“In Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield, Washington picked up two massive dudes who can work the ball inside but might not fit the mold of a prototypical NBA big in 2019.”
Givony liked Hachimura’s physical tools and his ability to create mismatches but decried his “mediocre feel for the game,” his reluctance to take three-pointers and his defense.
Alexander said the Wizards’ selection of Hachimura “turned some heads,” and he wondered whether Washington will “regret taking Hachimura so early.” Alexander did have good things to say about Schofield, however: “He is really strong and can score, board and hit 3-pointers.”
Calling Hachimura an “interesting pick” with some “risk involved,” Woo said Washington “ultimately opted for the guy it liked the most here” and that Hachimura filled an “area of need.”
Prevenas gave one of the more optimistic outlooks for the Wizards’ top pick, with good things to say about Hachimura’s motor and efficient scoring while noting that his shooting stroke “should translate to the next level.”
“He’ll step in and contribute for a depleted Wizards squad from day one,” Prevenas wrote. “Solid pick for a team in desperate need of a talent infusion.”
Parrish and Boone called Hachimura a “fine choice,” praising his “big wingspan and a good jumper, and he fits as a stretch four.” They also suggested his comparative inexperience will only be an asset as he continues to develop.
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