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Wizards

The Washington Wizards are likely to have a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2020 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Precious Achiuwa

Team: Memphis
Position: Forward
Age: 20 (turns 21 in Sept.)
Height: 6-9
Weight: 225
Wingspan: 7-2

2019/20 stats: 31 G, 30.4 mpg, 15.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.9 bpg, 49.3 FG% (5.9/11.9), 32.5 3PT% (0.4/1.3), 59.9 FT%

Player comparison: Montrezl Harrell, Bismack Biyombo

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 14th, Sports Illustrated 21st, Ringer 21st, NBADraft.net 18th, Bleacher Report 12th

5 things to know:

*Achiuwa was part of Anfernee Hardaway's vaunted recruiting class at Memphis that also included likely top-5 pick James Wiseman. While Wiseman left the program, Achiuwa ended up becoming their best player, earning awards as the conference player and freshman of the year.

*Achiuwa cleaned up with postseason awards because he did just about everything for the Tigers. He averaged a double-double and forced all sorts of turnovers on defense. His athleticism was overwhelming for mid-major competition as he looked like an NBA-ready player at the college level. He is viewed as a bit of a raw prospect offensively, but the production spoke for itself.

 

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*He is one of the best rebounders and defensive players in this class with the size and athleticism to thrive as a power forward or small-ball center at the next level. In addition to being a physical force, he has some natural instincts that help him on the boards and in team defense situations. As long as he can adjust to the speed and size of NBA competition, and continues to work hard, he should be able to translate those skills quickly.

*The questions for Achiuwa involve his long-term ceiling. He's going to turn 21 in September, which is usually when training camps are held, and he has a lot of work to do with his jumpshot. Teams often favor younger prospects high in the draft and put a big emphasis on shooting, no matter the position. The fact he shot under 60 percent from the line is certainly a concern.

*Achiuwa is originally from Nigeria and is the son of a minister. His name, as well as all of his siblings', derive from the bible. He has three brothers with the names God's Gift, God's Will and Promise. And his two sisters are named Grace and Peace.

Fit with Wizards: Achiuwa would fit well with the Wizards as he would help with two of their biggest weaknesses: rebounding and defense. He would arguably be their best rebounder the day he joins the organization and has the skillset to be their best rim protector, even though he's not of traditional center size.

The Wizards could use a player like Achiuwa, who is tough and plays with energy. They have energetic bigs, but not one that could be the type of physical force Achiuwa projects to be. That would be a nice element to have off their bench next season.

Achiuwa would fit well right away as the back-up to Rui Hachimura and his long-term role would depend on whether he or Hachimura can develop a consistent outside shot. In some ways, Achiuwa would complement Hachimura well as a small-ball five, as he rebounds and blocks shots and that would allow Hachimura to roam freely.

But until one of them can stretch the floor, it might be tough playing them together at the same time. They would likely need to be balanced out with Bradley Beal and another shooter like Davis Bertans.

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