Usman Garuba

And-Ones: Buyouts, Hearn, Beauchamp, Morrison

In a piece for BasketNews.com, Donatas Urbonas explores how Real Madrid is able to secure such lucrative buyout deals for its players, such as Facundo Campazzo, Gabriel Deck, and Usman Garuba, among others.

The Spanish powerhouse made over 10 million Euros in buyouts in the last nine months alone, more than the total budget of Euroleague teams such as Zalgiris, according to Urbonas, who explains that because of its pedigree as a championship team, Real Madrid is able to attract top talent, but also institute their own conditions. There’s also the appeal of living in Madrid and the top-flight amenities the club is able to offer.

Finally, Urbonas writes that the team invests tens of millions in its youth development program, which is renowned for getting the attention of NBA teams, making the exorbitant buyouts a tradeoff of that exposure and unrivaled development system.

We have more from around the world of hoops:

  • Former Piston Reggie Hearn has signed with German team Fraport Skyline, reports Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (via Twitter). Hearn spent last season with the G League Ignite, averaging 3.9 PPG in just 13 MPG.
  • MarJon Beauchamp, a top-5o recruit in the class of 2020, has signed with the G League Ignite, reports ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. After COVID-19 disrupted his ability to train in San Francisco, Beauchamp enrolled in Yakima Valley junior college, where he averaged 30.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 4.8 APG per game while shooting 40% from three. Beauchamp joins a loaded Ignite team that may get even better, with top 2023 recruit Emoni Bates set to make his recruitment decision tomorrow.
  • Former Celtics assistant Scott Morrison has signed on to be the head coach of the NBL’s Perth Wildcats, per an NBL announcement. The deal will span three years. Morrison, who had spent the previous three seasons with the Celtics, reportedly interviewed for Washington’s head coaching job this offseason.

Rockets Sign Usman Garuba To Rookie Contract

Spanish big man Usman Garuba has officially signed his rookie contract with the Rockets, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.

Garuba had been the last of this year’s 30 first-round picks who remained unsigned. The process was held up a little due to the fact that he was participating in the Tokyo Olympics and had to finalize a buyout agreement with Real Madrid, his team in Spain.

[RELATED: 2021 NBA Draft Pick Signings]

As a result of that team-friendly buyout, Garuba owes Real Madrid in excess of two million Euros, but will be able to pay it off in installments. He should more than make up that amount in the NBA based on the terms of his rookie deal. Assuming he signed for the standard 120% of the rookie scale, Garuba will earn $2.35MM as a rookie and $11.81MM over the course of four seasons.

Garuba, 19, had 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 received the EuroLeague Rising Star award, then was one of four prospects selected by Houston in this first round of the 2021 draft.

The No. 23 overall pick, Garuba joins Jalen Green (No. 2), Alperen Sengun (No. 16), and Josh Christopher (No. 24) to make up the Rockets’ promising 2021 draft class.

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 Marca.com (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.

Draft Notes: Garuba, Butler, Pacers, Pistons, Kispert

Usman Garuba is generating buzz a potential mid first-round pick, but the terms of the Spaniard’s contract with Real Madrid represent an obstacle in getting him stateside for the 2021/22 season. According to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.com, Garuba’s NBA buyout clause with the Spanish club is worth three million Euros.

An NBA team can contribute to a player’s buyout with his international team, but only up to $775K (about €655K). That means that if Garuba wants to make the leap to the NBA right away, most of the buyout would have to come out of his own pocket. To make matters worse for the 19-year-old, the amount of that buyout increases by one million Euros every year until 2024, per Urbonas. Garuba’s contract with Real Madrid runs through 2025.

As John Hollinger of The Athletic observes (via Twitter), Garuba’s buyout is “insanely large” relative to other international contracts, but it may well be negotiated down to something more reasonable when the time comes for the big man to make the move to the NBA — which could happen in the coming weeks.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report and Jeremy Woo of SI.com have released the final versions of their respective big boards for the 2021 draft. The two draft experts have also put out updated versions of their mock drafts at Bleacher Report and SI.com.
  • Among the noteworthy items in Woo’s mock draft: Some teams have concerns about the condition of Jared Butler‘s knees, and the Pacers have thus far rebuffed efforts from teams below them to move up to No. 13. If Indiana keeps that No. 13 pick, the team is likely to target a more experienced prospect such as Corey Kispert, Davion Mitchell, or Chris Duarte, says Woo.
  • Woo also reports that there has been some “real disagreement” within the Pistons‘ front office about what to do with the No. 1 pick. However, he expects Detroit to ultimately select Cade Cunningham. In his latest mock draft at ESPN.com (Insider link), Jonathan Givony cites sources who say a Pistons commitment to Cunningham could be “imminent.”
  • Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert told reporters this week that the Spurs (No. 12), Wizards (No. 15), and Pelicans (No. 17) were among the teams he worked out for during the pre-draft process, as Mike Vornukov of The Athletic tweets. Based on reports, it looks like Kispert has worked out for every team in the 7-15 range except for the Grizzlies, who recently agreed to acquire the No. 10 pick from New Orleans.

Olympic Notes: Spain, Simmons, Nigeria, Turkey, Garland

Veteran center Pau Gasol, who has represented Spain in four Olympic tournaments so far, remains on track to be part of the team in Tokyo, per an Associated Press report. Gasol was one of 18 players included on Spain’s preliminary roster for the Tokyo games, joining his brother – Lakers center Marc Gasol – and Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio.

Timberwolves forward Juan Hernangomez, Pelicans big man Willy Hernangomez, and projected first-round pick Usman Garuba are among the other notable names on Spain’s preliminary roster, according to The Associated Press.

Here’s more on the Tokyo Olympics:

Draft Notes: Bryant, Couisnard, Garuba, Combine

A pair of South Carolina early entrants have opted to pull out of the 2021 NBA draft and will return to school. Junior forward Keyshawn Bryant and sophomore guard Jermaine Couisnard both announced their intentions on Twitter.

Bryant and Couisnard were the Gamecocks’ second- and third-leading scorers in 2020/21, with Bryant putting up 14.4 PPG and 5.4 RPG in 18 games (27.0 MPG), while Couisnard averaged 10.1 PPG and 3.2 APG, but struggled mightily with his shot (.302/.289/.580).

Their teammate A.J. Lawson, who was South Carolina’s top scorer this season, also entered the draft in April, announcing at the time that he’d be signing with an agent and going pro.

Here’s more on the 2021 draft:

  • Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has published his first 2021 mock draft. While there are no major surprises at the very top of the draft, O’Connor’s mock has some interesting picks further down in the first round, starting with Baylor guard Davion Mitchell to Golden State at No. 6.
  • Sam Vecenie’s latest big board for The Athletic begins with the usual suspects, but also features Alperen Sengun, James Bouknight, and Josh Giddey in the top 10. Vecenie, who ranked Real Madrid’s Usman Garuba at No. 33 in his last update, moved the Spaniard up to No. 19 this time after talking to sources, referring to him as the draft’s “most impactful defensive player.”
  • Scrimmages will once again take place at this year’s draft combine in Chicago, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report hears (Twitter link). Wasserman says those scrimmages will likely occur on June 24-25 following the initial workouts and drills.

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.