24-year-old tweener big labeled 'dream' free agent target for Grizzlies

Feb 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward GG Jackson (45) dribbles up court as New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) defends during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward GG Jackson (45) dribbles up court as New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) defends during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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This summer, the Memphis Grizzlies are expected to address their rather depleted center depth after offloading a good chunk of the position's main contributors mid-way through this past season.

Over the last few months, many have discussed their thoughts on how Zach Kleiman and company could go about addressing this clear rotational need, with trade, free agency, and even the NBA Draft all being viewed as equally realistic avenues for them to go down.

While there have been a slew of names mentioned that are involved in each of these aforementioned categories, considering Memphis just finished off 2023-24 with a putrid record of 27-55 and are hoping to get themselves back into the title-contender conversation as soon as next season, the pressures of landing an ideal talent to fill in as their primary pivot are rather high.

Over the next few months, there are expected to be a number of quality players made available who could both be snatched up and help this Grizzlies team's productivity on the hardwood and, when it comes to impending free agents, Bleacher Report's Greg Swartz believes Knicks big Precious Achiuwa just may be the ball club's "dream" target.

Precious Achiuwa tabbed as 'dream' free agent target for Grizzlies

On top of needing an upgraded talent who can aid in the rebounding and overall physicality department, considering the Grizzlies find themselves sporting the eighth-highest pay roll heading into new year's campaign they'll likely need to find someone who would be willing to agree to terms on a minimum-scale contract.

To Swartz, the fourth-year Achiuwa seems to fit this bill to a tee.

"The Grizzlies ranked 25th in rebounding perentage this past season (48.8 percent) and could use some more muscle in the middle after shipping Steven Adams to the Houston Rockets ahead of the trade deadline this past February.

Precious Achiuwa had a strong run with the New York Knicks following his trade from the Toronto Raptors, including averages of 12.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting 52.6 percent overall in his 18 starts.

Even the Grizzlies' $5.2 million taxpayer MLE would be a slightly raise for Achiuwa after he earned roughly $4.4 million this past season. The chance to win the starting center job next to Jaren Jackson Jr. could help set him up for a bigger payday down the road, too.

Achiuwa could be a big part of a much-improved Memphis team next season. His rebounding and energy could help the Grizzlies return to the top of the West."

Greg Swartz

As Swartz noted, after Achiuwa made his way over from the Toronto Raptors to the New York Knicks mid-way through this past season, he managed to step up his game in virtually all areas, especially when inserted into the starting lineup.

From his rebounding percentages to his blocks per game, the former first-round pick became a fan favorite among orange and blue faithful, and went on to wrap up his half-season stint with the organization boasting averages of 15.8 points, 14.9 rebounds (6.0 offensive), and 2.4 blocks per 100 possessions while shooting 52.5 percent overall from the floor.

Even during the postseason, despite seeing inconsistent action throughout their two-round excursion, when called upon Achiuwa put forth tremendous efforts on both ends of the floor and when focusing on doing the little things for his team, as he posted 5.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks on 48.8 percent shooting in just 20.5 minutes a night.

Adding his particular skill set to this Grizzlies team could only stand the benefit their young and talented core already in place while his brand of toughness would resonate with Grind City's attitude.

Already this offseason, both of Achiuwa's frontcourt teammates Isaiah Hartenstein and Mitchell Robinson have been tabbed as potential targets for Memphis, though the former may prove to be too expensive on the open market while the latter is far too great of a risk due to his injury history.

In many ways, the 24-year-old could prove to be both the most cost-efficient and safest option for Kleiman and company to try and steal away from the Knicks this summer.

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