Leading up to the NBA trade deadline, Wizards forward Rui Hachimura has heard the chatter around his future in Washington, but he's doing his best to keep his focus on the court and his confidence up.
"I've just got to keep focus on the moment right now," Hachimura said of the situation after scoring 30 points on Saturday night in a win over the Magic. "I know all the stuff going on right now. I've just got to play the games and just to be myself... I just got to play my game. I know what I can do, and I can help the team to win. It's either here or other team. I can help teams."
Although he's not trying to let the outside noise distract him, it doesn't necessarily seem like Hachimura would be opposed to a trade out of Washington. "I just want to be somewhere that wants me as a basketball player, and I want to be somewhere that likes my game," Hachimura said.
After starting in every game he played in over his first two seasons with the Wizards, Hachimura has started in just 13 total games between this season and last. When asked if Washington could still be the best place for him to continue his career, Hachimura replied: "I don't know. We've got to find out."
The Wizards have reportedly begun trade talks with multiple teams centered on Hachimura. Hachimura is set to be a restricted free agent over the offseason, and he has reportedly drawn interest from several teams in the Western Conference. On the season, Hachimura is averaging 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, and he could provide a contending team with some added scoring.
In addition to Hachimura, the Wizards have also received a lot of interest in forward Kyle Kuzma. However, Wizards team officials value Kuzma highly and would like to re-sign him over the summer, making it seem somewhat unlikely that he'll get moved prior to the Feb. 9 deadline. Nonetheless, Washington is definitely a team to keep an eye on leading up to that date.