WTF Do We Do With: Precious Achiuwa
What’s that? What do I think of Precious Achiuwa? Funny you should ask, because I have THOUGHTS.
Let’s be honest, as dynasty basketball players we’re obsessed with future value. Yes, guys playing at a high level now are fun, but have you ever daydreamed about how good your rookies could be in 2027? Have you ever tore down a team to the studs and sold off all your players over 30 for teenagers?!? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it because it’s freaking intoxicating. Why actually compete when you could potential win the league in 5 years in dominant fashion???
Potential is a hell of a drug.
While I’m half-joking about valuing future production over current production, finding the next big thing is how you have sustained success in dynasty leagues. Spoiler alert: LeBron James will retire one day.
You’re going to need a plan for how to compete afterwards. Which is where I, and this “WTF” series, come in. We’re going to look at some young guys with potential and try to figure out if they’re set to become the next Giannis or Bam Adebayo or [insert your favorite superstar who came out of nowhere].
If an actual NBA team makes a player the centerpiece of a trade to kick off their rebuild, that’s probably a god sign right? Because that’s exactly what the Toronto Raptors did with Precious Achiuwa. Out went Kyle Lowry and in came a 5-star high school recruit in a prototypical frame. He’s a 20-year old forward standing at 6’9 but with an ideal 7’2 wingspan. He’s got a monster motor and is dripping with athleticism and raw talent. Just watch some of his highlights, the guy pounds the boards and has handles and shooting range you wouldn’t expect from someone his size. It the modern NBA guys this big shooting 3’s is nothing new, but Achiuwa is a big man prospect that has a background playing with the ball in his hands on the wing.
Which is great, but can cause a lot of problems. Look at his stats – 8.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.6 apg in 25 minutes a game – and you can see the makings of a star big man. With that size and ball handling, he’s a prototypical small-ball center to pair with Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes. He knows when to cut and has the athleticism to finish above the rim with ease. And with that insane motor, he’s able to find points for himself with his offensive rebounding ability. And let’s not forget, he dropped 17 points in a freaking quarter against the Grizzlies!
17 Points tonight
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 25, 2021
BUT, with the Raptors in a rebuild he’s got a lot of freedom which gets him in trouble. He’s not afraid to take 3’s are drive to the hole, but he’s not hitting them right now. his shooting 40.1 percent, which can sour people on Achiuwa. Also, remember that 17-point quarter? Well he put up 0 points in the other three quarters. So yes, there is some volatility in his profile. He also has some issues when it comes to passing, which you might not expect from someone with his ball handling abilities. In the best case scenario, you’d hope he could make some Draymond Green style passes out of the short roll but we’re pretty far from that at the moment. Achiuwa often gets tunnel vision and misses some open guys for easy shots, costing us some potential for assists.
There’s also a bit of a roster crunch, with Nick Nurse deciding to split time between Precious Achiuwa and Khem Birch.
Go on Twitter and you’ll find a WIDE variety of opinions on Precious Achiuwa. Some people seem him as the next Bam Adebayo, while others think he’s the worst basketball player who ever lived. You know, normal Twitter stuff. Does he have the raw skills that hint at Adebayo potential? Yes. Is he a must acquire asset at the moment? No. Patience and time are going to be your friend here.
If you’re in the middle of one of those fun rebuilds I talked about up top and selling off some win-now guys, I wouldn’t think of Achiuwa as more of a additional piece in a trade rather than the main return. But if you’re in a win-now mode, Achiuwa is an interesting stash who has some boom-or-bust potential worth gambling on. And if things turn around a bit this year, he could be a solid bench guy. Yes he’s shooting poorly right now, but in his one year in college he hit almost 50 percent of his shots as the No. 1 option. If it clicks, he’ll definitely earn his spot on your roster.