Add coach Erik Spoelstra to the list of those who feel first-round draft pick Precious Achiuwa is a perfect fit for the Miami Heat.
Spoelstra spoke about Achiuwa, a 6-foot-8 forward, for the first time since the Heat selected him with the No. 20 pick in last month’s NBA draft.
“If you looked at him from the beginning of the season to the very end, you’re looking at a different and improved basketball player,” Spoelstra said. “That’s our language. We like guys that are committed to the process, that have a work ethic, that have a competitiveness and get better from a daily grind. That’s Precious was able to do his lone college season.”
Achiuwa played one season at Memphis declaring for the draft. Aside from comparisons to the Heat center Bam Adebayo, the staff liked Achiuwa because the way he was coached. Memphis is led by former NBA player Penny Hardaway. Former Heat player Mike Miller is also an assistant.
Learning under that type of leadership is why Spoelstra feels Achiuwa can have an immediate impact.
“Obviously, his athleticism, his quickness, his fluidity, his ability to play multiple positions, particularly on defense, that jumped off the screen," Spoelstra said. "We had good conversations with their coaching staff … There are a lot of things that they felt that translated about his to this level. I think he was coached in a pro system.”
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