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Hutchison makes the most of his first opportunity with the Wizards

Former Boise State standout Chandler Hutchison was traded from the Bulls to the Wizards last week
Credit: AP
Washington Wizards center Alex Len (27), Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11), and Washington Wizards forward Chandler Hutchison (1) go for the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 29, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former Boise State men's basketball standout Chandler Hutchison was anything but bullish in debut with the Washington Wizards on Monday.

Hutchison, who came off the bench, scored 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting in 25 minutes of action in Washington's 132-124 win over the Indiana Pacers.

"What he did tonight, we haven't had that [on this team]," Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said Hutchison's feel for the game. "You can't teach that overnight. But he brings that."

The Wizards acquired Hutchison from the Chicago Bulls hours before the NBA trade deadline last Thursday. Prior to the deal, Hutchison had only scored 13 points in 64 total minutes spread out over seven appearances this season.

The lack of production and playing time meant little to Wizards. They saw an opportunity to acquire Hutchison, and the soon-to-be 25-year-old quickly proved he was ready for the opportunity that awaited him in Washington.

"I haven't been playing," Hutchison said about the end of his tenure in Chicago, "but I take this extremely serious. The ability that I had to stay in the gym while I was out was available to me and I took full advantage. [I] stayed in shape, stayed sharp, and this is just a result of getting the opportunity to play, and then me being myself."

The Bulls selected Hutchison with the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Injuries limited him to 44 games as a rookie, and 28 games the following season, which was also cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following his performance on Monday, Hutchison reiterated that he was thankful for his time with the Bulls, but ready to move on.

"It's nothing personal against Chicago. That situation made me the person I am right now, you know, and the player. I put in a lot of work. Unfortunately it didn't work out. But I have no ill-feelings towards them whatsoever."

That being said, Hutchison's three-word postgame tweet, an intentionally unfinished thought stating "one man's trash...," would suggest there's more to the story and no lack of motivation.

"I've been ecstatic, even in the transition of being here, because I understand that this team has a need and I see myself a potential to fill that need," Hutchison said. "That from a personal standpoint makes you feel good. And then I've been embraced, you know, by Russ [Westbrook], by [Bradley Beal], these guys to tell me to just be myself. So it's really easy for me just to go out there and do what I can."

"It's just the excitement about what's to come," he added, "and I know that I'm gonna have a bright future here in Washington."