The Portland Trail Blazers will now have one eye on the 2020 NBA Draft. Likely picking between 10 and 20, this week we will be looking at Precious Achiuwa
Precious Achiuwa is a six-foot-nine combo forward out of Memphis. He is a strong 225 pounds with a big seven-foot-two wingspan. With the Portland Trail Blazers on the hunt for size, Achiuwa may just fit the bill.
Achiuwa is power forward with the potential to play other positions depending on his development. Though he will be older than a lot of the other one and dones in his class at 20-years-old he is still raw in terms of his overall on court play.
He has an NBA body already, with great athleticism. He is strong in transition and has a quick first step for a power-forward. He relies heavily on his hops and big body against largely smaller competition at the NCAA level. On both ends of the floor he will need to work on his fundamentals if he wants to continue improving his game.
Offensively he is a great athlete in transition, his handle is good for a four but he needs to work on it if he wants to be able to initiate breaks in the open court. His decision-making is also a work-on but he has all the physical tools if he can work on this and his shot selection.
He does force his offense a little bit, especially in the paint. But this may be because of his underdeveloped fundamentals and footwork. He can use underhand finishes and sometimes powers through contact but he doesn’t always use the right option at the rim
He does finish predominantly with his right but has shown a little with his left so far. As far as shooting goes, he has great mechanics and his shot looks good on the eye. But he is very inconsistent when it comes to getting in the right position, being squared up etc. This reflects in his 32.5 percent efficiency this year. He has the size and shooting form to be a stretch big, but will rely on the specialist coaching at NBA level to help him get this right.
He isn’t a great passer, this is a definite work-on. He needs to improve his recognition, especially when trying to make reads in the half court.
Achiuwa is a great rebounder on both ends. This is one of his best skills. He is quick on his second jump and has been able to grab 3 offensive rebounds a night in 31 games this NCAA season. He leads the AAC in offensive rebounds.
Defensively he has potential to be a real plus player. He has quick feet and long arms that enable him to pick up wings while also helping at the rim. His 1.1 steals combined with 1.9 blocs show his versatility at the NCAA level.
Similar to his offensive decision-making issues, he relies on athleticism rather than smart reads when making plays on defense. He is already a good shot blocker, just needs to work more on not losing his man. He has some potential to be able to switch in the future as he can recover quickly with his fast feet. Could maybe defend three through five if he can work on not over helping.
He is also a great defensive rebounder. He averaged 7.8 this season, ranking first in the AAC and eleventh in the nation.
Achiuwa has massive NBA potential. He has the physical tools and athleticism required for the next level. If he can master his decision-making and work on his fundamentals on both ends he stretch-four and plus defender potential.
In a league starved of quality wings he could be a viable option for the Trail Blazers. Currently mocked between 12 and 18, Achiuwa could be the prospect on the board when the Blazers are picking in the upcoming draft.