By my estimation, I would say we have our first “big” off the Brew Hoop Community Draft Board, (at least among players we’ve selected) with Precious Achiuwa, the power forward from Memphis going at 18.
Let’s get it out of the way...this guy looks like a brick house. He seemed like a mammoth among boys at the forward position, even if he is only 6’9”. It didn’t seem like anyone would’ve been able to stop him when he was rolling to the rim. He has a 7’1.5” wingspan to go along with it too. His primary offensive function seemed like a Montrezl Harrell type - set vicious screens, roll to the rim and try to finish on lobs.
He didn’t spend nearly as much time around the arc, attempting just 40 3-pointers during his time in Memphis and hitting 32.5% of them. Clearly, that part of his game would be a work in progress at the NBA level, given he also shot just 59.9% from the free throw line. He did shoot 56% at the rim, which is highly efficient at the college level, but I am curious if that would entirely carry over to the NBA against taller defenders.
Still, it’s tough to find many players with his combination of length, size and athleticism. Offensively, he could pounce on the offensive glass and probably finish either his or others’ misses. He nabbed 10.8 rebounds per game (3.0 OREB).
His most immediate impact could certainly come on the defensive end of the floor for NBA teams. He routinely switched across possessions throughout Memphis’ season, and they posted the best defense in the entire NCAA, with him as one of their nominal anchors. Not only can he switch out onto guards and hang with them, but he can also recover and use his leaping ability to send shots swatted into the stands.
Take this with a grain of salt, but synergy did have him allowing just 0.61 points per possession as an individual defender, per NBA.com. This is clearly cherry picking a possession below, but here’s a solid example of how he’s able to stick with a smaller guard trying to weasel past him and instead stuffs him like a turkey.
Even if his roll game is the most refined part of his offensive game, I appreciate how soft his hands seem when heading to the rim. Even on off-target passes behind him, just to one hand or a speeding bullet where he just turns his head in time to see it, Achiuwa seems confident receiving the ball from anywhere, confidently gathering himself and trying to finish with a dunk or layup.
If I’m Milwaukee, I’m not sure Achiuwa would carry that much interest for me given his raw offensive game, but he could be the type of versatile defender that could slot into Center-Giannis lineups and provide some switchability if Bud ever opted to go that route. Otherwise, his shot-blocking and athletic ability would likely help him serve as a proper counter to Giannis in those lineups, especially if they were asking Giannis to still serve as a helpside defender. Achiuwa would probably struggle against some brutish big men, but he has the frame to fill out at just a shade under 21. Still, shooting just 59% at the free throw line is somewhat worrisome. Unless the Bucks were incredibly high on his defensive potential, I’m not sure how they would treat him dropping to them at 24.
Here’s the poll for our next selection:
My pick for the #19 spot on the community draft board is...
This poll is closed
Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Serbia
Theo Maledon, PG, France
RJ Hampton, PG
Jalen Smith, PF, Maryland
Desmond Bane, SG, TCU
This poll will close at noon (CST) on Wednesday, November 11.
Brew Hoop Draft Board Rankings
- Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
- LaMelo Ball, PG, Illawarra Hawks
- James Wiseman, C, Memphis
- Deni Avdija, SF, Israel
- Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
- Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
- Killian Hayes, PG, France
- Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
- Devin Vassell, SG, Florida State
- Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
- Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
- Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford
- Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina
- Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
- Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
- Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State
- Saddiq Bey, PF, Villanova
- Precious Achiuwa, PF, Memphis