NBA Draft 2020: Precious Achiuwa could be Warriors' James Wiseman alternative

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Logan Murdock
·3 min read
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Editor's note: As the Warriors prepare for the 2020 NBA draft, during which they will have a lottery pick for the first time since 2012, NBC Sports Bay Area will present a twice-weekly series spotlighting two players expected to be evaluated. This is the last post of a 12-part series over the next six weeks.

Want a prospect with athleticism, defensive prowess and a developing offensive game? Look no further than Memphis' Precious Achiuwa. 

Achiuwa -- a Nigerian native -- averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists in 31 games under Memphis coach Penny Hardaway. Against Ole Miss, he scored a season-high 25 points in an 87-86 win, earning American Athletic Conference Player of the Week for his performance. A month later, he had a monster double-double with 22 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks against Tulane. 

Prior to Memphis, he was a McDonald's All American, starring at prep power Montverde Academy, averaging 14 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, helping Montverde reach the semifinals of the GEICO High School Showcase.

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Basketball wasn't Achiuwa's first sport. As a child in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, he played soccer until his family settled in The Bronx when he was in eighth grade. He took up basketball soon after, leading Saint Benedict's Prep of Newark, New Jersey to a 28-2 record in his junior season. Upon arriving at Memphis, he was part of the nation's top recruiting class, committing to the Tigers alongside former AAU teammate James Wiseman. 

When Wiseman left school amid NCAA violations, Achiuwa became the team's young leader. Along the way, he became a dominant rebounder, leading the AAC in the category. Additionally, he was among the nation's best defenders, posting an 82.5 defensive rating. 

[RELATED: Vernon Carey Jr. could be Warriors best trade-back option]

His offense is still growing. He shot just 32 percent from 3-point range on just 1.3 attempts. When he put the ball on the ground, he turned it over nearly three times per contest. While his defense should translate to the next level, his offensive shortcomings will make him a liability if he doesn't develop that side of his game. 

Achiuwa is a mid-first round prospect in most mock drafts. For the Warriors, it would be a reach to get him as his skill set would need to be developed over the years to be a contributor. 

Precious Achiuwa profile

Position: Small forward, Power forward
Class: Freshman
Birthdate: September 19, 1999 (19 years old)
Hometown: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2019-20 season averages: 15.8 points (49 percent FG, 32 percent 3-point, 59 percent FT), 10.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 225
Wingspan: 7 feet, 2 inches
What they're saying: "I think he's going to buy into this idea that he is a five. If he does, if he fully buys in, he is a guy who can do all of those things: He averaged 16 points, 11 boards and a couple blocks, he's switchable, he's 6'9", he's explosive…" - NBC Sports' Rob Dauster

NBA Draft 2020: Precious Achiuwa could be Warriors' James Wiseman alternative originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area