BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics would prefer not to use all three of their first-round picks at the 2020 NBA Draft. But chances are that Danny Ainge will take at least one player on Nov. 18, so he and the rest of the Boston brass are in the process of checking out potential selections.
On Friday, that means a workout with Memphis star Precious Achiuwa, according to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com. Achiuwa, a 6-foot-9 power forward, is a definite possibility for the Celtics with their first pick in the draft at No. 14.
Achiuwa took home American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and AAC Freshman of the Year honors (not to mention a spot on the First-Team All AAC) after averaging 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game for the Tigers. He led the AAC in rebounding, pulling down 334 boards over his 31 games.
He’s an athletic big man whose physical tools should lead to him becoming a stellar defender in the NBA. With a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Achiuwa has the length to pester opponents on the perimeter, and he had no issues switching onto guards or wings during his only season at Memphis. He has great defensive awareness, fouling out of just one game in college.
Achiuwa will bring some offensive concerns to the NBA, as he struggled with shots that weren’t at the rim, shooting 49 percent overall. He also hit just 60 percent of his free throws, so polishing his offense will be a big to-do for any team that drafts Achiuwa.
But he could make an immediate impact on the defensive end, making Achiuwa an intriguing candidate for teams selecting either late in the lottery or just outside of the lottery.
In addition to the 14th overall pick, the Celtics also own the 26th and the 30th picks in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft.