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NBA PM: Carroll Takes Raptors to Next Level

DeMarre Carroll is making his presence felt in Toronto. He talked to Alex Kennedy about his change of scenery.

Alex Kennedy



Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant talks in detail about his back injury, when he hopes to return and his advice to rookie D’Angelo Russell in this video.

Carroll Takes Raptors to Next Level

Every NBA player approaches free agency differently. Some individuals like to meet with as many teams as possible, weigh their options, enjoy the wooing that occurs and take plenty of time as they make their life-changing decision. However, there are some players who dislike the process and want to get a new contract signed as soon as possible.

DeMarre Carroll falls into the latter category.

That’s why the veteran forward was one of the first players to come off of the board this past offseason, agreeing to a four-year deal worth $60 million with the Toronto Raptors on the first day of free agency. Rather than draw things out, Carroll zeroed in on Toronto very quickly.

“It was short and sweet,” Carroll told Basketball Insiders. “I got married, like, three days before free agency so as soon as it started, I wanted [the process] to be short and sweet. My agent knew that. We had a list of six or seven teams that we were truly interested in and we kind of ran with that.

“I think Toronto was the first team to show up at my door and they made the best impression. The first impression is sometimes the best impression, and I felt like they made the best impression. They [made sense] with what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go, being a key part of an organization, and that’s why I went with Toronto.”

The marriage between Carroll and the Raptors is off to a good start. He inked his big pay day and has been a key contributor early on. Meanwhile, Toronto opened the season with a franchise-record five-game winning streak and they currently have the Eastern Conference’s third-best record.

Carroll has made an immediate impact on the team with his stifling defense and veteran leadership.

Last season, the Raptors had the NBA’s 23rd-ranked defense (allowing 104.8 points per 100 possessions). Opponents shot 45.9 percent from the field against Toronto, which ranked 27th in the league trailing only the lottery-bound Minnesota Timberwolves, L.A. Lakers, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.

Improving defensively was the Raptors’ top priority over the offseason, which is why players like Carroll, Cory Joseph and Bismack Biyombo were added. It’s also why Toronto never made an offer to the offensive-minded Lou Williams, even though he had just won the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award and made it clear that he wanted to re-sign (as Williams told me in a July Q&A).

Thus far, the moves look smart. Prior to Carroll briefly being sidelined due to plantar fasciitis, Toronto had the sixth-ranked defense in the NBA – an incredible one-year leap up the rankings even if the sample size is small. Another indicator of Toronto’s huge strides on defense: the Raptors are now holding opponents to 42 percent shooting from the field, which is fifth-best in the NBA. Put simply, Toronto went from having one of the worst defenses in the NBA last year to one of the best units in the early stages of this season.

Carroll certainly has played a large part in that, as he’s known for his terrific perimeter defense and typically guards the opposing team’s best scorer. He has also become an important vocal leader for Toronto, ensuring that everyone is in the right place and giving maximum effort.

“He’s brought toughness,” DeMar DeRozan said of Carroll. “He’s capable of knocking down shots, but he’s definitely [brought] toughness on the defensive end. He gets us going on the floor. He’ll get on Kyle and I, especially on offense, to make sure we’re on top of our game. He keeps everyone in line defensively as well.”

When asked about what Carroll has brought to the Raptors, Kyle Lowry smiles.

“DeMar and I don’t have to worry about guarding the best guys,” Lowry said, making it clear he’s enjoying this change. “That’s his job, and he takes pride in it. He puts everyone in the right position too. He’s that glue guy who comes in every single night and plays his game. He’s going to be All-Defense, in my book.”

Just as he did last year on the Atlanta Hawks, Carroll is making his presence felt for the Raptors with his intense defense, hustle plays and willingness to do the dirty work.

“It’s good to see the defense has changed and to know that you’re a key part of that,” Carroll said. “Hopefully, though, we can just keep getting better defensively and manage to be a top-five defensive team throughout the season. Hopefully the league will take notice. Hopefully ya’ll media can take notice and maybe I can be on an All-Defensive Team one of these years.”

Carroll admits that he felt slighted last year when he was left off of all three of the NBA’s All-Defensive Teams (appearing on only 10 of 129 ballots) and when he received just one third-place vote in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

“Yeah, it motivates me,” Carroll said. “I felt like last year in Atlanta even with us winning 60 games and having a top defense and a top offense, I still was overlooked. It’s one of those things, man. It’s politics, and the media votes. Hopefully with me coming to Toronto, some of y’all media people can see that.”

Carroll made sure to emphasize “ya’ll media” each time he said it. And he may have a point about not receiving enough recognition for his contributions last season. He was a key two-way weapon for the East’s top-seeded Hawks, averaging 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting an efficient 48.7 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from three-point range. Just as he is now in Toronto, Carroll was tasked with guarding the opposition’s best perimeter scorer each night and became one of the NBA’s better three-and-D players.

In addition to posting impressive traditional stats, advanced stats displayed his importance to the team as well. He finished the season ranked fourth among all NBA players in Effective Field Goal Percentage (57.9) behind only DeAndre Jordan, Stephen Curry and J.J. Redick. He also ranked fourth in the NBA in two-point field goal percentage (56.7 percent) – the only non-center to finish in the top five.

Even still, he flew under the radar. Carroll was the team’s lone starter not selected to the All-Star game (although he was included when the NBA gave the “Player of the Month” award to all five Hawks starters after the team went 17-0 in January). The limited credit for his defense is what seems to have really frustrated Carroll though, as he takes a lot of pride in that aspect of his game.

Carroll responded by having a terrific postseason, showing everyone what he could do on basketball’s biggest stage. He was arguably Atlanta’s most consistent player throughout the playoffs, as he averaged 14.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, two assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from three-point range. At one point, he scored 20 or more points in six straight playoff games (which is even more impressive when you consider that he didn’t have plays called for him and was just scoring within the flow of the offense). His best performance came in Game 6 against the Washington Wizards, when he helped the Hawks advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with 25 points, 10 rebounds and two steals (shooting 64.3 percent from the field and 60 percent from three).

Now, he’s hoping to duplicate that success – individually and as a team – with the Raptors.

“Not too much has changed,” Carroll said. “When I was in Atlanta, I never had a play ran for me. I never had an offensive set ran for me – everything I did was back-door slashing, hitting the open three and running the lane. It’s pretty much the same here. I do think I’m more vocal defensively now than I was when I was in Atlanta, so that’s probably the only thing that’s changed. But everything else, I’ve just been continuing to do the dirty work and be a junkyard dog.”

Really, the biggest change is his contract. Last year, he was a bargain for the Hawks at $2,442,455. Now, he’s the Raptors’ highest-paid player at $13,600,000. He insists that he doesn’t feel more pressure due to his new salary.

“No, you just win,” Carroll said. “The only way you get away from pressure is just win and do your job. I feel like my job is doing it on both ends of the floor – offensively and defensively – and if I can keep doing that and we keep getting wins then I think I’m doing my job.”

One similarity between Atlanta and Toronto is that both teams have a balanced offensive attack. Neither team relies too much on one player, instead having several guys average double digits in scoring. So far this season, DeRozan, Lowry, Jonas Valanciunas and Carroll are all averaging 12 or more points (with Luis Scola, 9.2 PPG, and Cory Joseph, 8.8 PPG, not too far behind as well).

“[A balanced attack] is very big because other teams can’t key in on a certain guy,” Carroll said. “They might double team DeRozan one game and then myself or Kyle or Jonas or Scola might be open. They might double team Kyle another game and then you have the same thing. When you have five guys out there who can hurt you at any time on offense and who can also go defend well, that’s huge. And that’s the type of team we have here.”

The drastic improvement on defense, coupled with an offense that currently ranks ninth in the NBA, has the Raptors believing they now have what it takes on both ends of the floor to contend.

After Toronto’s 5-0 start (which featured wins over the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder), the Raptors dropped three straight games against the Orlando Magic, Miami HEAT and New York Knicks. Carroll had to sit out the HEAT and Knicks losses due to plantar fasciitis (perhaps further showing his importance to the team).

Even though they’ve come back down to earth a bit, Carroll believes the strong start was very beneficial for everyone involved.

“It’s good for your confidence, good for the team chemistry, good for the coaching staff, good for everybody,” Carroll said. “But we can’t get too high on some wins; we just have to keep getting better. Throughout an 82-game season, you’re going to have some ups and some downs. You’d rather have more ups than you have downs and that’s our goal, while trying to get better and continuing to get us new guys to jell with the old guys.”

Jelling will take time, as every team has to go through an adjustment period when they make personnel changes. Carroll is still getting acclimated, and so are fellow new additions Joseph, Biyombo and Scola among others.

“[Our chemistry] is growing game by game,” Carroll said. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, so we have to take it game by game. I think we need to keep improving; we can’t really dwell on the wins that we’ve been getting. We have to keep getting better and take the wins for what their worth.”

Four and a half months after making his free agency decision, Carroll is satisfied with his situation on and off the court. Toronto is playing well and looking like they could be one of the better teams in the East, and he’s enjoying his new city as well.

“I love it,” Carroll said of Toronto. “I think the fans here are amazing and they really support their team. They’re really behind us and everything you do gets acknowledged by people in the city. I feel like we have some of the greatest fans. They also have a lot of good food places, so I love it. I think the city has a lot to offer. Hopefully they’ll keep supporting us and we can keep winning basketball games for them.”

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.


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Reviewing the Nurkic Trade: Denver’s Perspective

The Denver Nuggets have been on a miraculous run this postseason, but that doesn’t mean that they’re infallible. Drew Maresca reviews the 2017 trade that sent Jusuf Nurkic from Denver to Portland.

Drew Maresca



The Denver Nuggets are fresh off of a 114-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, pulling within three wins of the franchise’s first trip to the NBA Finals. But what if I told you that the Nuggets’ roster could be even more talented by acting more deliberately in a trade from three years ago?

While Denver won on Tuesday night, they lost a nail bitter on Sunday – for which most of the blame has been pointed at a defensive breakdown by Nuggets’ center Mason Plumlee, who was procured in the aforementioned 2017 trade. What did it cost Denver, you ask? Just Jusuf Nurkic and a first-round pick.

Nurkic was a 2014-15 All-Rookie second team member. He played 139 games over 2.5 seasons in Denver, averaging 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in approximately 18 minutes per game. He showed serious promise, but Denver had numerous reasons to pursue a trade: he’d suffered a few relatively serious injuries early in his career (and he’s continued to be injury-prone in Portland), butted heads with head coach Michael Malone and – most importantly – the Nuggets stumbled on to Nikola Jokic.

The Nuggets eventually attempted a twin-tower strategy with both in the starting line-up, but that experiment was short-lived — with Jokic ultimately asking to move to the team’s second unit.

The Nuggets traded Nurkic to the Portland Trail Blazers in February 2017 (along with a first-round pick) in exchange for Plumlee, a second-round pick and cash considerations. Ironically, the first-round pick included in the deal became Justin Jackson, who was used to procure another center, Zach Collins – but more on that in a bit.

As of February 2017, Plumlee was considered the better player of the two. He was averaging a career-high 11 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists through 54 games – but it was clear that at 27, he’d already maximized his talent.

Conversely, Nurkic was only 23 at the time of the trade with significant, untapped upside. In his first few seasons with Portland, Nurkic averaged 15 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, while establishing himself as a rising star. As noted above, injuries have continued to be a problem. Nurkic suffered a compound fracture in his tibia and fibula in March 2019, forcing him to miss a majority of this current campaign. The COVID-19-related play stoppage in March gave Nurkic extra time to get his body right, and he returned to action in July inside the bubble.

And he did so with a vengeance. Nurkic demonstrated superior strength and footwork, and he flashed the dominance that Portland hoped he would develop, posting eight double-doubles in 18 contests. He averaged 17.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and while his play dipped a bit in the playoffs – partially due to a matchup with first-team All-NBA star Anthony Davis – he still managed 14.2 points and 10.4 rebounds in the five-game series. So it’s fair to say that Nurkic is still on his way toward stardom.

But the Nuggets are in the conference finals – so all’s well that ends well, right? Not so fast. To his credit, Plumlee is exactly who Denver expected him to be. He’s averaged 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in three seasons with Denver since 2017 – but to be fair, Plumlee is asked to do less in Denver than he had in Portland. Still, it’s fairly obvious that they’re just not that comparable.

Plumlee is a good passer and an above-average defender that’ll compete hard and isn’t afraid to get dirty – but he has limitations. He doesn’t stretch the floor and he is a sub-par free throw shooter (53.5 percent in 2019-20). More importantly, he’s simply not a major offensive threat and his repertoire of moves is limited.

High-level takeaway: Defenses tend to game plan for opponents they view as major threats – Nurkic falls into this category. Other guys pack the stat sheet through putback attempts, open looks and single coverage alongside the guys for whom opposing defenses game plan – that’s a more appropriate description of Plumlee.

On to the wrench thrown in by Zach Collins’ involvement. Statistically, Collins is about as effective as Plumlee – he averaged 7 points and 6.3 rebounds through only 11 games in 2019-20 due to various injuries – and he possesses more upside. The 22-year-old is not as reliable as Plumlee but given his age and skill set, he’s a far better option as a support player playing off the bench. He stretches the floor (36.8 percent on three-point attempts in 2019-20), is an above-average free throw shooter (75 percent this season) and is a good defender. Looking past Nurkic for a moment, would the Nuggets prefer a 22-year-old center that stretches the floor and defends or a 30-year-old energy guy?

Regardless of your answer to that question, it’s hard to argue that Nurkic should have returned more than Plumlee, definitely so when you factor in the first-round pick Denver included. There is obviously more at play: Denver was probably considering trading Nurkic for some time before they acted – did they feel that they could increase his trade value prior to the trade deadline in 2016-17? Maybe. Further, Nurkic and his agent could have influenced the Nuggets’ decision at the 2017 deadline, threatening to stonewall Denver in negotiations.

Had Nurkic been more patient or the Nuggets acted sooner before it became abundantly clear that he was on the move, Denver’s roster could be even more stacked than it is now. Ultimately, the Nuggets have a plethora of talent and will be fine – while it appears that Nurkic found a long-term home in Portland, where he owns the paint offensively. Denver can’t be thrilled about assisting a division rival, but they’re still in an enviable position today and should be for years to come.

But despite that, this deal should go down as a cautionary tale – it’s not only the bottom feeders of the league who make missteps. Even the savviest of front offices overthink deals. Sometimes that works in their favor, and other times it does not.

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NBA Daily: They Guessed Wrong

Matt John reflects on some of the key decisions that were made last summer, and how their disappointing results hurt both team outlooks and players’ legacies.

Matt John



It doesn’t sound possible, but did you know that the crazy NBA summer of 2019 was, in fact, over a year ago? Wildly, in any normal, non-pandemic season, it all would have been over three months ago and, usually, media days would be right around the corner, but not this time. The 2019-20 NBA season is slated to end sometime in early to mid-October, so the fact that the last NBA off-season was over a year ago hasn’t really dawned on anyone yet. Craziest of all, even though there will still be an offseason, there technically won’t be any summer.

Coronavirus has really messed up the NBA’s order. Of course, there are much worse horrors that COVID-19 has inflicted upon the world – but because of what it’s done to the NBA, let’s focus on that and go back to the summer of 2019. It felt like an eternity, but the Golden State Warriors’ three-year reign had finally reached its end. The Toronto Raptors’ victory over the tyranny that was the Hamptons Five – as battered as they were – made it feel like order had been restored to the NBA. There was more to it than that though.

Klay Thompson’s and Kevin Durant’s season-ending injuries, along with the latter skipping town to join Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn meant two things.

1. Golden State was down for the count
2. Brooklyn’s time wasn’t coming until next year.

A one-year window was open. Even if neither Golden State nor Brooklyn posed the same threat that the former did when it had Kevin Durant, those were two contenders out of commission. If there was a time to go all in, it was in 2019.

Milwaukee certainly seemed to go all in. For the most part.  Malcolm Brogdon’s departure seemed a little odd since he was arguably their best non-Giannis playmaker when they were in crunch time. Not to mention there was nothing really stopping the Bucks from keeping him except for money. Detractors will call out Milwaukee for electing to cheap out by not keeping Brogdon and hence, avoiding the luxury tax. However, there’s more to it than that.

Milwaukee thought it had enough with the core it had on its roster. Coming off the best season they had put up since the eighties, they believed the franchise built the right team to contend. There was an argument that keeping Brogdon may have been overkill with their guard depth – let’s not forget that Donte DiVincenzo did a solid job in Brogdon’s role as the backup facilitator. This would have been more defensible had it not been for Milwaukee picking the wrong guy to let go. That was the indefensible part- electing to keep Eric Bledsoe over Brogdon.

Bledsoe wasn’t necessarily a bad investment. No one’s complaining about an almost 15 point average on 47/34/79 splits or playing individual defense tight enough to get named on the All-Defensive second team. By all accounts, Bledsoe earns his keep. That is until the playoffs. Bledsoe’s postseason woes have been a weight ever since he first entered Milwaukee, and this postseason was more of the same.

Bledsoe’s numbers dwindled to just 11.7 points on 39/25/81 splits, and Milwaukee getting ousted in five games at the hands of Miami made his struggles stand out even more than it had ever been. Bledsoe may be the better athlete and the better defender, but Brogdon’s all-around offensive savvy and his only slight dropoff defensively from Brogdon would have made him a bit more reliable.

Milwaukee guessed wrong when they opted to extend Bledsoe before the postseason last year when they could have waited until that very time to evaluate who to keep around. Now they face a hell of a lot more questions than they did at the end of last season – questions that may have been avoided had they made the right choice.

Now they could have kept both of them, yes, but it’s not totally unreasonable to think that maybe their approach with the luxury tax would have worked and maybe they would still be in the postseason right now had they gone with the homegrown talent. And just maybe, there wouldn’t be nearly as much of this Greek Freak uncertainty.

The Houston Rockets can relate. They got bruised up by a team that everyone thought Houston had the edge on going into the series and then crushed by the Lakers. Now, Mike D’Antoni is gone. The full-time small ball experiment likely did not work out. Since the Rockets emptied most of their assets to bring in Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington, there may not be a route in which they can become better than they presently are.

The mistake wasn’t trading for Russell Westbrook. The mistake was trading Chris Paul.

To be fair, most everybody severely overestimated Chris Paul’s decline. He’s not among the best of the best anymore, but he’s still pretty darn close. He deserved his All-NBA second team selection as well as finishing No. 7 overall in MVP voting. OKC had no business being as good as they were this season, and Paul was the driving force as to why.

For all we know, the previously-assumed tension between Chris Paul and James Harden would have made its way onto the court no matter what. Even so, Houston’s biggest obstacle in the Bay Area had crumbled. If they had just stayed the course, maybe they’re still in the postseason too.

To their credit, none of this may have happened had it not been for the Kawhi Leonard decision. Had he chosen differently, the Thunder never blow it up, and Houston might have very well been the favorite in the Western Conference. Instead, the Rockets took a step back from being in the title discussion to dark horse. But at least they can take pride knowing that they weren’t expected to win it all – the Clippers can’t.

Seeing the Clippers fall well short expectations begs the question if they too got it wrong. The answer is, naturally: of course not. They may have paid a hefty price for Paul George, but the only way they were getting Kawhi Leonard – one of the best players of his generation – was if PG-13 came in the package. As lofty as it was, anyone would have done the same thing if they were in their shoes. They didn’t get it wrong. Kawhi did.

On paper, the Clippers had the most talented roster in the entire league. It seemed like they had every hole filled imaginable. Surrounding Leonard and George was three-point shooting, versatility, a productive second unit, an experienced coach – you name it. There was nothing stopping them from breaking the franchise’s long-lasting curse. Except themselves.

Something felt off about them. They alienated opponents. They alienated each other. At times, they played rather lackadaisically, like the title had already been signed, sealed, and delivered to them. The media all assumed they’d cut the malarkey and get their act together – but that moment never really came. They had their chances to put Denver away, but even if they had, after seeing their struggles to beat them – and to be fair Dallas too – would their day of destiny with the Lakers have really lived up to the hype?

Even if it was never in the cards, one can’t help but wonder what could have happened had Kawhi chosen to stay with the team he won his second title with.

Toronto was the most impressive team in this league this season. They still managed to stay at the top of the east in spite of losing an all-timer like Leonard. That team had every component of a winner except a superstar. They had the right culture for a championship team. Just not the right talent. The Clippers were the exact opposite. They had the right talent for a championship team but not the right culture. That’s why the Raptors walked away from the postseason feeling proud of themselves for playing to their full potential while the Clippers writhed in disappointment and angst over their future.

In the end, everyone mentioned here may ultimately blame what happened to their season on the extenuating circumstances from the pandemic. The Bucks’ chemistry never fully returned when the Bubble started. Contracting COVID and dealing with quad problems prevented Westbrook from reviving the MVP-type player he was before the hiatus. As troubling as the Clippers had played, the extra time they would have had to work things out in a normal season was taken away from them.

For all we know, next year will be a completely different story. The Rockets, Bucks, and Kawhi may ultimately have their faith rewarded for what they did in the summer of 2019 – but that will only be mere speculation until the trio can change the story.

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Looking Toward The Draft: Power Forwards

Basketball Insiders continues their NBA Draft watch, this time with the power forwards.

David Yapkowitz



We got some updated NBA draft news this week when the league announced that several key dates have been pushed back including the draft, the start of free agency and the beginning of the 2020-21 season.

The 2020 draft was originally scheduled for Oct. 16, but it will now likely occur sometime in November. Obviously, with the COVID-19 pandemic still wildly out of control in the United States, all of these potential deadlines are fluid and subject to change.

With that said, we’re continuing our position by position breakdown here at Basketball Insiders of some of the top 2020 draft prospects. We looked at the point guards and shooting guards last week, and this week we’re covering the small forwards and power forwards.

The power forward crop, like the draft overall, doesn’t appear to be as strong as recent years, that doesn’t mean there aren’t potential contributors and high-level NBA players available, as well as one who might just turn out to be a star-caliber player.

Onyeka Okongwu, USC – 19 years old

Okongwu is the player who just might develop into a star on some level. He was actually underrated in high school and was snubbed for a McDonald’s All-American selection his senior year. He established himself early on at USC as the team’s best player as a freshman and now appears to have turned some heads.

He’s been mentioned as a lottery pick and in some mock drafts, he’s top 4-5. He possesses a great all-around skill-set; he can score in the post, he can put the ball on the floor and attack and he can shoot. But perhaps his biggest attribute is his versatility on the defensive end. He’s got quick feet and mobility and can guard multiple positions.

Okongwu might actually play center in the NBA, especially in small-ball lineups, but he’s mostly played power forward and so he’ll probably see time there in the league. His skill-set fits perfectly with today’s game.

Obi Toppin, Dayton – 22 years old

Toppin is one of the older players in the draft, and in recent history, players that age tend to slip on draft boards. In Toppin’s case, it looks like the reverse might actually be true. He’s been projected as a lottery pick, and even going in the top 3.

He’s an incredibly athletic player who thrives in the open court. He looks like he’ll do well in an up-tempo offensive system that has capable playmakers who can find him in transition. He’s extremely active around the rim and he can finish strong. A decent shooter too, something he’ll need at the next level.

Toppin has the physical tools to be an effective defensive player, but that’s where the questions marks on him have been. In the NBA, he’s likely going to have to play and guard multiple positions. Whether or not he can adapt to that likely will answer the question as to what his ceiling can be.

Precious Achiuwa, Memphis – 20 years old

Achiuwa is another intriguing prospect. this writer actually got to watch him play in person while he was in high school and he was very impressive. He looked like a man among boys. He’s projected to be a late lottery pick.

He has an NBA-ready body and he’s got some toughness around the rim and in the paint. He was a double-double threat during his one season at Memphis and his knack for rebounding is something that should translate to the NBA. He’s a very good defender too, in particular, as a rim protector. He’s very quick and has the ability to guard multiple positions.

One of the main knocks on Achiuwa is his shooting ability. He didn’t shoot that well in college and power forwards being able to space the floor is almost a requirement in today’s NBA game. It’s something he can certainly work on and improve on though.

Honorable Mentions:
Paul Reed, DePaul – 21 years old
Xavier Tillman, Michigan State – 21 years old
Killian Tillie, Gonzaga – 22 years old

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