2021 NBA Draft mock #17: Memphis Grizzlies: Usman Garuba
Garuba played 84 games for Real Madrid this season. The 19-year-old averaged 17.2 minutes per game in a mix of starting and coming off the bench over multiple competitions. He averaged just 4.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 0.7 steals on 47.5 percent shooting from the field. The teenager won EuroLeague Rising Star and ACB Best Young Player in 2021.
The 6’8 wing is a stout defender that has taken on many of the top point guards in Europe this season. Garuba weighs 220 pounds and has a 7’3 wingspan. He could be an above-average NBA defender quickly with the potential to be an elite switchable option at his peak.
His offensive game is a work-in-progress. He has shot just 30.9 percent from 3-point range over 168 attempts in his four professional seasons for Real Madrid. They do not ask the teenager to do a lot offensively, so it will be interesting to see how he develops in the NBA.
Usman Garuba could be ready for a role as a rookie. He will not shy away from guarding the opposition’s lead playmaker. Garuba has a high basketball IQ and tremendous athleticism. The Memphis Grizzlies have had success drafting smart players that compete hard defensively. They happily grab Garuba to add to their young talented roster.
Next: No. 18