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The Wizards, Still Operating Without A GM, Drafted A Guy They'd Neither Met Nor Spoken To

Photo: Sarah Stier (Getty Images)

The Washington Wizards selected Gonzaga big man Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in NBA Draft. The pick was a bit of a surprise given that there hadn’t been any reports of any connections between that franchise and their eventual draftee. As it turns out, that surprise extended all the way to the player as well.

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These kinds of relatively blind picks aren’t exactly a deviation from the norm, but that norm usually features teams that actually have an active general manager on staff—which, as you may remember, the Wizards do not. Since that is Washington’s present situation, a move like this seems pretty damn ominous. Hachimura wasn’t a consensus top-five pick, nor was he expected to fall outside of the lottery. Forget a workout, why wouldn’t the Wizards at least consider giving him a call before deciding to draft him? Is this what people should expect from the franchise going forward? Are the Wizards just going to make these hasty last-minute decisions until someone with even a modicum of competence falls in their laps?

As a pessimistic Wizards fan, the answer to all of those questions is: probably, and it’s going to cause some serious problems if the vacant GM position isn’t filled soon. But at least for now, that kind of spontaneous decision-making happened to stumble upon a decently talented prospect.

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