TORONTO - Precious Achiuwa is going to let his agent do the talking for him.
The Toronto Raptors and Achiuwa did not reach an agreement on a contract extension ahead of Monday's deadline. That means the 24-year-old forward will head into restricted free agency in the off-season, assuming the Raptors tender him a US$6.28 million qualifying offer.
“We pay people a lot of money to represent us and talk about that,” said Achiuwa after practice on Tuesday, paraphrasing teammate Pascal Siakam who is also expected to become a free agent in the off-season. “That's where I'm at with that. I don't really want to get into that and I'm more so focused on the season.
“There's a lot of exciting things ahead. We just got to focus on how to win games this season, just go out there play the right way.”
Guard Malachi Flynn also didn't reach terms with Toronto on Monday, with the Raptors potentially tendering a $5.81 million qualifying offer to him in the off-season.
Toronto hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday in both teams' season opener.
Achiuwa is entering his fourth season in the NBA. He averaged 9.2 points, six rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.5 blocks over 55 games in 2022-23.
He said he feels the stats don't tell the whole story of what he brings to Toronto.
“I am one of the best defenders (in the league),” said Achiuwa. “I don't think the numbers say otherwise if you go look at them.”
Achiuwa said his versatility is what makes him so valuable to Toronto or any other NBA team.
“My length, my athleticism, my quick feet, my speed, my agility. I think that is what separates me,” he said. “I know I'm not an average defender. There's not five guys in the NBA that guard 1-through-5.
“I don't care what team you go look at, but I know I'm one of those five guys.”
Flynn is also entering his fourth NBA season. He averaged 4.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists for the Raptors last season.
Achiuwa and Flynn join a lengthy list of pending free agents who may leave Toronto next summer, including Siakam and defensive stalwart O.G. Anunoby. Gary Trent Jr., Otto Porter Jr., Thad Young and Garrett Temple are also set to become free agents.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2023.