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Rui Hachimura sidelined three weeks for Wizards

Washington won’t have its starting power forward for the first three weeks of the season due to conjunctivitis.

Washington Wizards’ Rui Hachimura gestures as he calls to teammates during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. at Visa Athletic Center.  Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Wizards PF Rui Hachimura will miss approximately three weeks due to conjunctivitis, the team announced Monday afternoon. Hachimura is dealing with an infection in both of his eyes and it will sideline him through at least the middle of January. So with that timeline in mind, Hachimura could miss the first 10-12 games of the season. Obviously, it’s good that this isn’t a physical injury, so if his eyes heal quicker, we could see Rui back in the lineup sooner rather than later.

Fantasy basketball impact

Since the season is about to get underway and you’ve probably already drafted your team, let’s look at the impact. Hachimura was set to start at PF for the Wiz. With him out the next three weeks, we should see Davis Bertans slide into that role alongside Thomas Bryant at center in the front court. Bertans has a ton of value early on in both season-long and DFS. He was one of the best — if not the best — 3-point shooter last season. He shot 42.2 percent from beyond the arc on 8.7 attempts all while coming off the bench most nights.

Behind Bertans off the bench are two forwards who could see more playing time. Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga. Mo was actually pretty decent in his second NBA season in 2019-20, averaging 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in just over 18 minutes per game in 45 games.

Bonga was an all-energy guy off the bench and can do a lot of things, plus is a good defender. He started 49 of 66 games last season, so while Bertans appears to be the most logical replacement for Rui, it could end up being Bonga. I wouldn’t view either Bonga or Wagner as worthy in season-long, but they’ll make for decent value plays in DFS on DraftKings.

Betting analysis

The Wizards win percentage O/U on DraftKings Sportsbook is set at 45.5 percent for the season. So just a shade under .500 projected win percentage. Washington has a relatively easy schedule to start the season off with games against Orlando, Chicago and Minnesota, however, the schedule gets tough in January without Hachimura. If the Wizards get off to a slow start, it may be tough to get out of that hole. Luckily they have Russell Westbrook and decent forward depth. I would wait a bit and see how Washington looks with Russ and without Rui to start the season before making any reactionary picks, futures-wise.

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