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Draft Rumor: Have Wolves Made a Promise to Rui Hachimura?

There appears to be some buzz around that idea following the combine.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - West Regional - Anaheim Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Rui Hachimura, the combo forward from Gonzaga, did not attend the NBA Draft Combine this week, and now rumors are surfacing that he might have a promise from the Timberwolves.

This started when Rick Bonnell, who covers the Hornets for the Charlotte Observer, wrote that Hachimura was unlikely to last to Charlotte’s 12th pick, and that it appeared that the Wolves at 11 was likely his “floor.”

Later, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders tweeted this:

We can believe this or not, (Kyler also thinks Darius Garland (Suns) and Matisse Thybulle (Thunder) have promises as well.)

Frankly, I don’t know why the Wolves would do this with the draft seemingly still in some flux. Hachimura is nowhere near my first choice for the 11th pick; like most here he’s not even my first choice among available Gonzaga Bulldogs. I’d prefer Brandon Clarke.

Hachimura is a 6’8” combo forward who grew up in Japan. He didn’t play much as a freshman, was a bench scorer as a sophomore, and took over as the leading scorer on a very successful Gonzaga squad this year.

It’s not entirely clear what is so compelling about him that the Wolves would make such a promise. He is a skilled scorer around the paint and has a mid range game, but does not shoot it from three, and doesn’t obviously do anything else particularly well. He doesn’t collect many blocks or steals and is not a great play maker, He was an efficient college scorer, and that’s about it.

Mr. Eggplant’s SMILODON rates him as a good driver, but subpar in the shooting, passing, and defense categories.

We’ll see how this all plays out, but I don’t understand the eagerness to lock up this guy when there might be more intriguing alternatives.

The draft is an early test for new President Gersson Rosas, and a promise to Rui Hachimura doesn’t seem to bode well.

....Or he becomes a star and I look like an idiot. Hang on to that possibility.

What say you about this rumored promise?