Memphis freshman Precious Achiuwa finally made official what we all knew was coming: That he is declaring for the NBA Draft.
The former to 15 recruit is a projected first round pick with a chance to go in the lottery after averaging 15.8 points, 10.8 boards, 1.9 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 33 percent from three.
The biggest question mark for me when it comes to Achiuwa is whether or not he is going embrace what he actually is. For my money, he’s something of a poor man’s Bam Adebayo, a big man that can be used at the four and, ideally, as a small-ball five. He plays hard, he has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and he’s proven himself as a rebounder. He also has some perimeter skill, and he did make some threes this season. There’s a market for that in the NBA, and it’s a role Achiuwa should be able to thrive in.
But is that what he wants to be? Or does he think that he’s a three? The potential is there for Achiuwa to be effective as a face-up forward against bigger, slower centers. I’m not sure the same can be said for him as a three. Remember, Achiuwa will turn 21 years old before he plays in his first NBA game. He was a freshman this season and he is just two months younger than Kaleb Wesson, who was a junior. If Achiuwa embraces who he is, he has a long and profitable basketball career in front of him as, say, Montrezl Harrell.
If he doesn’t, he’s a college junior by age that has to complete change his game to have a shot at making the league.