Rockets First-Rounder Garuba Reaches Buyout Agreement With Real Madrid

Spanish big man Usman Garuba has reached a buyout agreement with Real Madrid that will allow him to get out of his contract with the Spanish club and join the Rockets for the 2021/22 season, according to a report from Jose Luis Martinez of (hat tip to Sportando).

As we relayed last month, Garuba’s NBA buyout clause with Real Madrid was said to be worth three million Euros and would have become even more expensive in future years.

An NBA team can contribute to a player’s buyout with his international club, but only up to $775K (approximately €655K). That meant that if Garuba wanted to make the leap to the NBA right away after being selected with the No. 23 pick in the 2021 draft, most of the buyout would have to come out of his own pocket.

According to Martinez, Garuba and Real Madrid – who had the big man under contract through at least 2024 – agreed to a deal that will allow him to pay off the rest of his buyout in installments.

Garuba, 19, has been a member of Real Madrid since 2017 and was a regular part of the team’s rotation in 2020/21. He was named the ACB Best Young Player and also received the EuroLeague Rising Star award, then missed the 2021 draft because he was representing Spain at the Tokyo Olympics.

Assuming Garuba plays out his full rookie scale contract with the Rockets, he’ll ultimately come out ahead despite having to send a sizable chunk of his salary back to Real Madrid. As our breakdown shows, he projects to earn about $11.8MM over the course of the four-year NBA deal.

Once they officially sign Garuba, the Rockets will have all four of their first-round picks under contract. Jalen Green (No. 2), Alperen Sengun (No. 16), and Josh Christopher (No. 24) have already signed.

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