30 points and five rebounds were the numbers Rui Hachimura was able to compile against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Giving 30 points on a regular basis for Hachimura is a stretch, but still, his capabilities are beyond what his season stats show.
The Suns had a chance to obtain Hachimura’s services as reported by NBA insider Marc Stein recently. The Washington Wizards were prepared to receive a disgruntled Jae Crowder in exchange for Hachimura. Phoenix, as also stated, rejected the offer.
The holdout for a higher-caliber player in exchange for Crowder is beginning to play against the Suns. Certainly, the Suns would’ve preferred someone such as Kyle Kuzma in exchange for Crowder given their discourse.
The Post-Hachimura Effect
Yet this was all before Hachimura’s 30-point showing. While it may have been against a shorthanded Phoenix team, Hachimura possesses a certain niche that could be of use.
A primary reason for the Wizards being the better team against Phoenix — even with Devin Booker available — is due to sizing. Aside from Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, sizeable defenders on the wing are a null for Phoenix.
Hachimura is averaging 12.9 points, nearly five (4.8) rebounds through 23.8 minutes of playing time. He’s also shooting 52 percent from the field. Aside from Cameron Payne and recently Landry Shamet, Hachimura would bring an immediate talent impact for the reserves.
The former lottery pick also gives the Suns a boost in being undersized overall as well. With Johnson not quite nearing a return, Hachimura can fill a void of being a capable defender as well.
The waiting game that’s occurred about Crowder may have possibly played the Suns out of a starter in return. Deciding to step away from the team, while also not being in game shape doesn’t help Crowder’s situation either.
Even as the trade deadline nears next calendar year, the Suns may have to fork over more than anticipated to rid themselves of Crowder’s dismay.