Losing Lowry and getting Achiuwa in return may seem like a thin consolation prize, but he’s hit the ground running in Toronto
And yet, Achiuwa might have been the best player available to us.
During the Kyle Lowry sweepstakes the goal was clear; acquire young talent. However, the teams interested in acquiring the aging Lowry were all Finals contenders in “win-now” mode. Teams with established superstars and prime-of-their-career role players.
The 76ers, Heat, Lakers, Mavericks, and Clippers, the teams who showed interest in adding Lowry, weren’t really stacked in the young talent department. Ben Simmons, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and Luka Doncic were declared untouchable, which left the Raptors with a pool of players like Achiuwa, Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle, and Talen Horton-Tucker.
Precious Achiuwa is a top-shelf athlete at the center spot.
Of those guys, who would the Raptors rather have than Achiuwa?
He’s a 21-year-old mobile center, he has great fluidity with the ball and athleticism without it, he hustles on the glass and when blocking shots, and his prior relationship with Masai Ujiri is heartwarming.
As inconsistent as he was as a rookie, Raptors fans are going to really like Achiuwa, especially if he takes that next step on the offensive end and starts becoming a quality shooter. With his strength and speed as a center, the Raptors will have fun deploying him all over the court.