Raptors playing dangerous game with Precious Achiuwa as extension deadline passes

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 07: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 07: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors could see their roster decimated in the offseason, as names like Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby are slated to hit free agency. Another big piece got thrown into that miasma now that Precious Achiuwa could be on a new team next year.

Achiuwa is the type of player Masai Ujiri dreams about, as he is a tremendous defensive chess piece who has the boundless athletic ability needed to eventually become a star in this league if his finishing comes around offensively. Ujiri did not think, however, that Achiuwa’s performance mandated a new contract.

At a time when so many 2020 draft picks were agreeing to contract extensions, the Raptors chose not to extend Achiuwa’s contract. This means the former No. 20 overall pick of the Miami Heat will enter the (somewhat) open market and hit restricted free agency in the offseason.

While the restriction will give the Raptors the ability to match whatever offer sheet Achiuwa signs in the offseason, a desperate team with money to spend could give Precious an offer so expensive that Toronto could be unwilling to commit to him. This team is playing with fire all over the roster.

The Toronto Raptors could lose Precious Achiuwa in free agency.

In stark contrast to those who want Ujiri to press the reset button and start rebuilding this team from the ground up, the front office has taken a blase wait-and-see attitude with their approach to roster construction. Both Siakam and Achiuwa alike could feel the burn.

The Raptors have invested a ton of time and developmental energy in Achiuwa, which would make it foolish to lose him after this season. Still, Toronto can’t hope for a discount if the former Memphis star finally turns a corner as a scorer inside the rim.

Toronto stands to potentially lose three of their four best offensive players and one of their top defensive studs in Achiuwa, which would be a complete catastrophe for a year that has placed a perhaps inordinate amount of confidence in their ability to develop homegrown talent internally.


The Raptors will likely do everything they can to keep Achiuwa, who is a perfect scheme fit and a player that stands for everything those front office believes in from a talent evaluation point of view. The fact they didn’t get a deal done, however, should still loom large over the season.