Washington Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura has turned plenty of heads during his rookie campaign, and Los Angeles Lakers veteran Jared Dudley is one of the most recent players to laud the 22-year-old.
"Out of all the NBA rookies the most slept on is Rui Hachimura…" Dudley tweeted. "He's really a 3 playing at the 4 position.. Has a lot of Kawhi in his game! Super skilled, tough, and aggressive! Wizards found themselves a young Star in the future"
In a separate tweet, Dudley added, "I was really impressed playing against him, watching him get to his spots, seeing his tight handle, good athlete, and his mid range is automatic… perfect 3 man in today's NBA"
Hachimura made his presence felt early on in the NBA's restart, scoring a team-high 21 points (on 8-for-15 shooting) and grabbing eight rebounds in his first action in over four months.
Rui Hachimura scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds in our first game back.#WizSuns | @rui_8mura pic.twitter.com/QmRXYkPM39- Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 31, 2020
Though Washington has sputtered to an 0-4 start in Orlando, Hachimura has been a bright spot as he's shown flashes of excellence. Former All-Star Caron Butler watched Hachimura play in college and responded to Dudley by saying, "he literally has no ceilings on what he could be at this level!"
Hachimura's former teammate Isaiah Thomas responded to Dudley's tweet, adding that he made the Kawhi comparisons based on what he saw on a daily basis.
I've been saying that since the start of season. A lot of young kawhi.- Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) August 2, 2020
Hachimura even addressed those comparisons after being drafted by Washington last year.
Dudley's tweet came after Hachimura and the Wizards suffered a narrow loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Honestly, this transition finish from that game reminds me an awful lot of dunks that I've seen from Kawhi Leonard:
Ish 🔒.- Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) August 2, 2020
Rui 💪. pic.twitter.com/bzly1tSp44
Prior to the restart, I wrote about how the absence of Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans will provide Hachimura with invaluable experience as one of Washington's go-to options on the offensive end. While the Wizards are all but eliminated from playoff contention, these final four games provide more opportunities for Rui to showcase his skill set and grow alongside the team's other young pieces in Isaac Bonga, Thomas Bryant, Jerome Robinson and Moe Wagner.
With a healthy Bradley Beal and John Wall for the 2020-21 season, Hachimura developing into a third star will make the Wizards a scary team.
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