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How will Deni Avdija’s role change following Rui Hachimura trade

How will Avdija’s role change after Hachimura trade? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

After the 24-hour news cycle had taken place, the dust had settled on the Rui Hachimura trade and all the takes on social media cooled to their embers, Wizards president Tommy Sheppard offered his reasoning for why a former ninth overall pick was traded on Monday. In a pair of interviews during Tuesday night’s Wizards-Mavs broadcast on NBC Sports Washington, he cited clearing the way for Deni Avdija’s development as part of his thinking in making the deal.

Avdija, of course, was the Wizards’ first-round pick the following year after Hachimura, in 2020. He was also the ninth overall pick and now with Hachimura gone, his development becomes even more important to their future.

Exactly what Sheppard meant may be the subject of an enduring debate. He didn’t say the Wizards chose Avdija over Hachimura, but now Avdija’s progress will naturally be framed by the new opportunity he now has with Hachimura gone. It is now part of the context of his young career.

Sheppard also did not indicate Hachimura was directly impeding Avdija. Though fit and opportunity absolutely matter in the NBA, talent shines through. It’s a meritocracy, a make-or-miss league. If you perform, you are rewarded. And Avdija has had plenty of playing time this year to work with.

After Tuesday’s win, he’s started 30 of 45 games and averaging a career-high 25.9 minutes. Hachimura was also absent for 16 games due to an ankle injury from mid-November to mid-December. Avdija played nearly 30 minutes a night during that stretch.

All of that said, you could see why there may be an opportunity for Avdija to be used differently with Hachimura elsewhere. For one, it could mean more time with the ball in his hands. Hachimura was fourth on the Wizards in usage rate (23.0), behind only Kyle Kuzma (28.1), Kristaps Porzingis (27.4) and Bradley Beal (27.2). Hachimura was also fourth in field goal attempts (10.8).

Story continues

His departure would suggest potentially more shots for Avdija, but the nature of those shots could be more important. Avdija could now play closer…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/deni-avdijas-role-change-following-061500737.html?src=rss

Author : NBC Sports Washington

Publish date : 2023-01-25 06:15:00

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2023-01-25

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