What will a Precious Achiuwa return mean for the Toronto Raptors?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have never had their full rotation completely healthy this season, with Precious Achiuwa being the most noteworthy name to miss a large chunk of the season. The third-year forward has seen his development completely stall out as a result.

Achiuwa appeared to finally figure out how to become a quality offensive player during the second half of last season due to his 3-point efficiency, but he’s managed to suit up in just 10 games this season. Shooting under 40% from the field in those games, Precious was off to another slow start.

The Raptors have pieced together a frontcourt without Achiuwa, as rookie Christian Koloko and ageless wonder Thad Young have split time at the center spot while Juancho Hernangomez has been elevated to the starting lineup. Even with those moves, Achiuwa’s defense has been hard to replicate.

The Raptors are at least close to getting Achiuwa back from his ankle injury and returning to normalcy. Precious was listed as doubtful ahead of their matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, showing that his ankle injury has healed to a point where he could rejoin the rotation and make an impact.

The Toronto Raptors need to lean on Precious Achiuwa.

Achiuwa may not be as effective offensively as he was last year, but there are very few young players in the league that can pull off what Toronto regularly asks him to do. Being able to defend the perimeter and the paint as well as he can is a real asset this team must use.

Toronto gave up a preposterous 116 points per game during their losing streak. While Achiuwais not going to solve their defensive woes entirely or force Nick Nurse to completely throw that scheme away in favor of a new one, there is clearly a need for someone with his talents.

On the bench, Nurse might be able to finally expel Koloko from the rotation and get him some G League reps. With Otto Porter Jr. still out, Hernangomez might be able to move to a bench gunner role while Achiuwa gets back to what he was able to do last season.

The Raptors have invested a ton into Achiuwa and their quest to make him a viable Sixth Man for this team. Getting him back will help him resume his quest for consistency as the Raptors benefit from his ferocious motor and defensive skills.

Next. 5 teams who could trade for Fred VanVleet. dark