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Heat select Precious Achiuwa with 20th pick

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Miami passed on the chance to draft Tyrese Maxey, who would’ve been the third straight pick out of Kentucky.

NCAA Basketball: East Carolina at Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat selected former Memphis forward Precious Achiuwa with the 20th pick in the NBA Draft.

Achiuwa worked out with the Heat last week, so the move shouldn’t come as a surprise. Miami passed on potentially selecting their third consecutive Kentucky player, with Tyrese Maxey still on the board. The Heat’s previous two first-round draft picks were Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, both former Wildcats. The Philadelphia 76ers picked Maxey with the 21st pick in the NBA Draft.

Achiuwa has drawn comparisons to James Johnson and Montrezl Harrell. As I mentioned in my article about him working out with the Heat, his shooting numbers from college are a bit concerning — 60 percent from the free throw line, 26 percent on floaters and 30 percent on jump shots.

But he does seem to fit in with the Heat’s switch-heavy defense, as he could defend smaller players. Having Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder and Achiuwa all as players who can guard multiple positions certainly looks good going against the top big wings in the league.

After Miami picked Achiuwa, Pat Riley said in a press conference that “We were looking for bigs like him that were quick, athletic, that can run, that can handle.” He also said that he sees Achiuwa and Adebayo eventually playing together.

Additionally, Kevin O’Connor from The Ringer called Miami’s pick of Achiuwa a “perfect stylistic match.”

ESPN’s Fran Frischilla told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that Achiuwa has “Miami Heat written all over him” and that he wants to be Kawhi Leonard.