Precious Achiuwa may be the one person that benefited the most from James Wiseman’s departure from Memphis. With Wiseman, gone, Achiuwa was able to shine and grow as a player. Achiuwa is a high flying big who will quickly fill up a highlight reel. But is his game ready for the NBA? Let’s take a quick look and see.
Strengths: Athleticism, Physicality
Achiuwa can jump out of the gym. The guy honestly has some insane hops and is one of the more athletic guys in the class. Anyone standing 6’9 and jumps the way Achiuwa can is a freak of nature and entertaining as hell to watch. Combine his athleticism with how physical he plays the game, and Achiuwa makes for a great prospect that can slide into pretty much any system. His strong frame allows Achiuwa to hold his own on the boards against bigger opponents and get the ball back up on offensive rebounds. Achiuwa is quick for his size. Having a big that can effectively run the floor on the break makes Achiuwa that more attractive to teams.
Weaknesses: Shooting, Playmaking
The game at the pro level is moving even greater in the direction of having a big that can shoot and pass. They don’t have to be perfect in these categories, but the better a big is in these two categories, the easier it will be finding a job. Both are areas that Achiuwa can and needs to improve in. Achiuwa shot 59% from the free throw line, and needs to develop his outside shot to open driving lanes. Once those lanes open, he’s got to be able to make the pass out to a shooter or another driver. I know it’s a lot to ask of a big, but this is how Achiuwa will be able to separate himself.
Precious Achiuwa is another overall solid prospect that can help a team now. Some see Achiuwa as a lock for the lottery, while I’ve seen some drafts have him fall well into the twenties. Unless a team early on is just in love with Achiuwa, I believe he’ll either be a late lottery or fall just short, depending on the teams. Once we get to the later part of the lottery, there’s too many shooters that I don’t see getting passed on. Someone before 20 will take Achiuwa and will get amazing value out of him there.