No one can accuse the Toronto Raptors of not being patient, as Masai Ujiri has given Precious Achiuwa three seasons and two different coaching staffs in an attempt to get the most out of the former No. 20 overall pick. In his fourth NBA season, he seems to be reaching a plateau.
Achiuwa is averaging 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season, which are both down from the last two seasons under Nick Nurse. Achiuwa is shooting 27% from 3-point range, which could be a sign that his 3-point improvement in the last was a flash in the pan and not sustainable.
In one of the more startling changes to Darko Rajakovic's rotation in Toronto's dominant win against the Washington Wizards involved Achiuwa, as he was not in the team's nine-man lineup during the first half. He only came in when Jakob Poeltl got into foul trouble and during garbage time.
The fact that Jalen McDaniels, who has been one of the worst free agent signings of the offseason, appears to have leapfrogged him speaks volumes about how this coaching staff views what Achiuwa has done in the last few weeks. Is the end of his Raptors tenure finally upon us?
Could the Toronto Raptors trade Precious Achiuwa after falling out of rotation?
Achiuwa is still a tremendous defender, as his versatility and motor help make him a genuine disruptor. It's the offensive end where he struggles. Even in his fourth campaign, he still is not a threat to create for himself, bricks open jumpers, and has issues with finishing close to the basket.
The biggest issue with Achiuwa is that the Raptors are essentially dealing with the same issues they have tried to overcome for years. He is still prone to maddening inconsistency, laughable turnovers at inopportune times, and cold spells on the offensive end that make you wonder what they saw in him.
While Chris Boucher has found his way into more trade rumors than Achiuwa has in the last few months, Precious would certainly be a more valuable asset. Even if he's not a rotation mainstay, he's younger, more athletic, and a better defender. Ujiri might be willing to throw him into a larger deal to sweeten his return.
When Achiuwa clicks, the results are spectacular. Unfortunately for both Achiuwa himself and the Raptors' offense, the clicks are getting further spaced out and less sensational when they happen. If a team asks about Precious in a trade, the Raptors should not hesitate one second to include him in a package.