Knicks’ free-agent big man ‘open to a return’

May 12, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) shoots the ball while New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) defends during game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent center Precious Achiuwa is open to returning to the New York Knicks for the 2024-25 NBA season.

The Knicks recently lost featured center Isaiah Hartenstein to the Oklahoma City Thunder, leaving an opening in their rotation that Achiuwa can fill. Additionally, C Mitchell Robinson’s status with the team is up in the air, which could precipitate a trade in the coming weeks.

Knicks: Precious Achiuwa wants to run things back in New York in 2024-25

nba: boston celtics at new york knicks, precious achiuwa
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Knicks be left with Jericho Sims as their only five man by the time the offseason concludes, Achiuwa would be a viable starting option for the Knicks to deploy. Understanding these circumstances, Jeremy Brener of Fan Nation’s All Knicks relayed a report from SNY’s Ian Begley, confirming the Nigerian center’s stance on his unrestricted free agency preferences:

“According to SNY reporter Ian Begley, Precious Achiuwa is open to a return to the Knicks even though they didn’t extend him a qualifying offer,” Brener shared.

Achiuwa was eligible for a $6.3 million qualifying offer. Seeing that New York did forbear to offer the 24-year-old a deal at that price point, he may have to settle for less, though the Knicks did recently save $2.46 million by cutting DaQuan Jeffries.

Achiuwa could give the Knicks good minutes again like he did last season

Feb 27, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) controls the ball against New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In 2023-24, the Memphis product put up 7.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game on 52.5 percent shooting from the field. Though he could still improve in the three-point shooting department, where he connected on 26 percent of his looks from distance on the previous campaign, Achiuwa has the tenacity on the glass and the rim-protecting abilities to hold down the interior for New York.

The biggest knock on Achiuwa is his height. He stands at 6-8. The Knicks thrived deploying large frontcourt lineups in 2023-24. Albeit, he and Sims, the latter of which could be in line for a career season next year, could offer the Knicks balance with a nimble, mobile five in Achiuwa and a more traditional lob-catching bruiser in Sims playing interchangeably in Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau’s lineup.

Other teams are reportedly interested in Achiuwa, but if the Knicks play their cards right, they can keep a good thing going with the four-year veteran ahead of his fifth season in the Association.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: