A longtime international prospect as a rising star over the years throughout the Real Madrid program, Usman Garuba thrived in his draft-season, averaging 4.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0,8 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG, and 1 TOPG on shooting splits of 47/32/66. He played in 86 games, and played just 17 minutes per game. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Usman Garuba
Height/Weight: 6’8 / 220
Wingspan/ standing reach: (unconfirmed) 7’3 / N/A
Hand size: N/A
Pre-Draft team: Real Madrid
Tools: Defense, IQ, short-roll passing
- Versatile defensive big
- Outstanding basketball IQ
- Likely a dominant P&R defensive threat, making him a positive team defender
- Limited mistake-maker on the defensive end
- Can cover lots of ground defensively
- Long arms help him be strong on closeouts
- Good athlete that can move his feet well and finish above the rim
- Capable passer, especially inside the 3 point line
- Thrives as a dump-off option under the rim offensively
- Jump shot is unusable outside of corner catch & shoot 3s
- Jumper is slow and has somewhat wonky mechanics
- Needs to become a more reliable finisher
- Below the rim finisher off of drives
- Unable to create in any capacity off the dribble
- Can overcommit to contesting open shooters as the help-man
Usman Garuba is arguably the best defensive prospect in the 2021 NBA Draft. With very few defensive flaws at such a young age, Garuba projects to be an all-world defensive prospect within just a couple of NBA seasons. His ability to switch, contest shots, defend multiple plays within a possession, and control off-ball movement make him one of the best defensive big man prospects to come through the draft in recent memory. Aside from the defense, Garuba’s value will come from passing and hitting open 3s. Garuba’s biggest rooms for improvement lie in his ability to finish over defenses off of dribbles and making his 3 point shot more consistent. While his jump shot form is less than ideal, he still shot 32% this season in Madrid, and in the Spanish ACB only, he shot 44% from 3 in 43 games – far and away his largest sample size. If a team believes he can become a corner shooter, he is easily worth a top 10 pick.
Similar to: Cody Zeller, Draymond Green, Onyeka Okongwu
Projected draft range: 7-15
Expected role: Defensive-minded big that improves the team defense, and can make others better offensively through P&R.
Unplayable if: Jump shooting never develops, forcing him to be played off in the playoffs.
Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting turns consistent and his ability to finish in traffic improves, even a slight amount.