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Usman Garuba 2021 NBA Draft prospect profile

We break down the scouting report for Usman Garuba and what to expect from the forward at the NBA level.

Spain Vs Iran Friendly Basket Match Ahead of Tokyo2021
Usman Garuba of Spain during friendly match between Spain and Iran to preparation to Tokyo 2021 Olympics Games on July 05, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.
Photo by Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images

The 2021 NBA draft will take place Thursday, July 29 with the Detroit Pistons holding the No. 1 pick. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic round out the top five selections.

We take a look at some of the prospects available in this draft, gauge their strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparisons and best landing spot within the player’s projected draft range. Here’s a breakdown for Real Madrid forward Usman Garuba.


Garuba is an excellent defender who plays with high energy. He’s a strong passer who can create for himself and others in transition. Garuba is a decent rebounder who attacks the boards well. The development curve is strong at 19.


Outside of his defense and rebounding, there’s not much Garuba does offensively. Until his shot becomes more potent, he’s not going to command much attention. That might not be a bad thing for the young forward as he adapts to the league but he has a long ways to go.

Player Comparison

The comparisons are all over the place for Garuba. James Johnson is a good model as a veteran defender who has carved out a role for himself in the NBA. Garuba has more upside at this point in his career, but everything hinges on whether his shooting can improve.

Best Landing Spot

Garuba’s draft range is crazy. He can go anywhere from the late lottery to the end of the first round, which puts a lot of destinations in play. The Houston Rockets have some additional picks and can gamble on his upside if he’s around in the 20s. The Atlanta Hawks wouldn’t mind having Garuba as the energy guy to eventually replace Clint Capela. If he goes late in the lottery, the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors are good places for him.