New York Knicks fans were right to be patient with Precious Achiuwa

Precious Achiuwa is having a career resurgence with the New York Knicks, quickly becoming a fan favorite in the Big Apple.
Boston Celtics v New York Knicks
Boston Celtics v New York Knicks / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

Precious Achiuwa arrived in Toronto as part of the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade with Miami, which sent him alongside Goran Dragic in exchange for the Raptors' veteran floor general. 

Achiuwa’s future with the Raptors looked bright at first, as he began to integrate a three-point shot to his offensive bag and proved to be a serviceable defensive big-man off the bench. However, as the Raptors’ timeline began to shift, Achiuwa’s role on the team diminished as his inconsistencies became a concern. 

Toronto began to rebuild its roster, and despite being a younger player, Achiuwa’s Raptors tenure came to an abrupt end when he was included in the OG Anunoby trade to New York. Achiuwa came to a Knicks team lacking significantly in front-court depth, as they lost Mitchell Robinson to injury and were relegated to running backup minutes to an aging Taj Gibson. 

Needless to say, Achiuwa was far from well-received in his first few games in New York, as he was less than productive and showed poor court IQ similar to his latter Raptors days.

Fast-forward to March, some two-plus months following the initial trade, and Precious Achiuwa is now a pivotal rotation piece for a contending Knicks roster. Achiuwa has completely turned up his game under the bright lights of New York, as he’s averaging 8.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks a game in just over 26 minutes of play. 

Precious Achiuwa is proving the doubters wrong with his improved play for the New York Knicks. 

His three-point shooting is still wonky, but Achiuwa has been limiting his shooting from distance to lock in on working in the paint, with a solid field goal efficiency of 54.1%. Achiuwa's NBA career was looking quite grim on his way out of Toronto, but in New York, he has found a new sense of aggression and is imposing his size at will.

This was what Raptors fans were calling for from Precious Achiuwa. At 24 years old, it seemed odd to throw a still promising prospect in a trade, but maybe New York was the home Achiuwa needed to succeed.

The return that Toronto received was far from shabby, as both RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley are blossoming up north. OG Anunoby may have been the primary piece in the deal, but Precious Achiuwa is making himself known once again with his consistent play, making it a definite win-win trade for both parties involved.

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