Possible Lottery Pick Usman Garuba Enters 2021 Draft

Usman Garuba, a 19-year-old big man from Spain, has entered the 2021 NBA draft, a source tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

Garuba, who is currently a member of Real Madrid, has averaged 5.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 36 games (18.7 MPG) this season in Spanish League play.

While those numbers don’t jump off the page, Givony notes that Garuba played some of his best basketball during the EuroLeague playoffs, including a 24-point, 12-rebound showing vs. Anadolu Efes. The youngster also earned the EuroLeague’s Rising Star award for the 2020/21 season.

Givony, who ranks Garuba 15th overall on ESPN’s big board of 2021 prospects, suggests the 6’8″ forward/center – who has a 7’3″ wingspan – may be the most versatile defender in the 2021 draft class, having shown an ability to defend guards, forwards, or bigs. NBA scouts have compared Garuba to players like OG Anunoby and P.J. Washington based on that versatility, Givony says.

Josh Giddey and/or Alperen Sengun will be ahead of him on many draft boards, but Garuba is a legit candidate to become the first international prospect selected in July’s draft.

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