2020 NBA Draft Profile: Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis

OVERVIEW

Precious Achiuwa
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Achiuwa was the Player of the Year in the American Athletic Conference, carrying the load for Memphis after James Wiseman, the nation’s No. 1 recruit and a top-10 draft prospect, was suspended by the NCAA and then voluntarily left school.

Achiuwa, who has a 6-foot-9, 225-pound frame with an impressive 7-2 wingspan, averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game as a freshman.

When the college basketball season abruptly ended, Achiuwa was regarded by some as a borderline top-10 draft pick. His stock has slipped a bit since then, but he is still of the best defensive prospects in this class.

ANALYSIS

Achiuwa is raw and a bit of a “tweener.” He is undersized for a full-time center, but not polished enough offensively to be a full-time power forward.

Achiuwa’s defensive length, athleticism and motor allow him to protect the rim and switch 1 through 5 on the perimeter. He was the anchor of a Memphis team that had college basketball’s fifth-best adjusted defensive efficiency this past season, according to kenpom.com. Memphis also finished sixth in the country in blocked shots per game.

Yet there are many questions about Achiuwa’s offensive skill set.



He has poor jumper mechanics that led to some ugly misses. Though he shot 40 3-pointers (making 13), his free-throw percentage (60) does not breed much confidence about his shooting potential.

Achiuwa is also not a reliable playmaker for others. He committed 2.8 turnovers per game at Memphis, a high number for a player who did not dominate the ball.

He also does not always utilize his hustle or athleticism to gobble up “garbage” points. Right now, he is best as a finisher off the pick and roll.

Still, teams have consistently displayed a willingness to bank on the upside of an explosive athlete. Achiuwa could be an intriguing project for a good team drafting later in the first round.

Projection

First round

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