Wizards

Hachimura returns to D.C., could suit up after clearing COVID protocols

Wizards

Rui Hachimura’s absence from the Wizards due to personal reasons is almost over. Per NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes, the third-year forward has returned to Washington and is ready to resume team activities, but must first clear COVID protocols.

Hachimura stepped away from the team on Sept. 25, just before training camp began, for undisclosed personal reasons. He missed the first two Wizards preseason games, but could potentially suit up and start for the team for the final two matchups of the preseason, against Toronto and the New York Knicks this week.

Hachimura, 23, was Washington’s ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Gonzaga. He is eligible for his first career contract extension following the 2021-22 season.

Hachimura figures to be a crucial member of the Wizards’ starting five this season. At the four spot, he will solidify a frontcourt that includes Daniel Gafford (the presumed starting center to begin the season), Thomas Bryant, and Montrezl Harrell. Hachimura missed time for various reasons through his first two NBA seasons, but has averaged 13.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, and 1.6 apg for Washington.