Rui Hachimura had one of his best games of the season in the Washington Wizards' win over the Orlando Magic on Saturday. The 24-year-old finished with 30 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks while shooting an efficient 59.1% from the field and 60.0% from three.
However, it was Hachimura's postgame press conference that turned heads last night.
Several days after The Athletic's Josh Robbins reported that the Wizards have talked with multiple teams about a potential Hachimura trade, the fourth-year forward was asked about his uncertain future in Washington.
When asked whether he wants to be traded, Hachimura smiled, raised his eyebrows and said, "I don't know."
Does he think he'll get traded? "I guess," Hachimura responded. "I mean, I don't know."
Finally, when asked if he requested a trade, Hachimura smiled and said, "No comment."
“I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player," Hachimura added. "I want to be somewhere that likes my game. I just got to play my game. I know what I can do and I can help the team to wins. It's either here or other teams.”
Rui Hachimura on if he wants a trade: [Raises eyebrows], “I don’t know,” [laughs].— Hoop District (@Hoop_District) January 22, 2023
On if he thinks he will be traded: “I guess, I mean I don’t know.”
On if he asked for a trade: “No comment [smiles].” pic.twitter.com/q8PDffLcrv
Hachimura is certainly a name to watch as the Feb. 9 trade deadline approaches.
The Wizards have also reportedly had trade conversations centered around Kyle Kuzma (and our Nekias Duncan recently broke down some possible destinations for him).
This season, Hachimura is averaging 12.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 24.3 minutes per game, while shooting 48.8% from the field, 33.7% from three and 75.9% from the free-throw line. He is set to hit restricted free agency this offseason.
The Wizards are currently 20-26, which is the 11th-best record in the Eastern Conference. Washington has the NBA's 16th-ranked defense (allowing 111.3 points per 100 possessions) and 21st-ranked offense (scoring 110.7 points per 100 possessions).