NBA Draft Big Board 1.0: Cunningham, Mobley, Suggs, And The Best Of The Rest

NBA Draft prospect Evan Mobley (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Draft prospect Evan Mobley (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports) /
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NBA Draft
NBA Draft prospect Usman Garuba (Photo by Sonia Canada/Getty Images) /

14. Usman Garuba, F, Spain

Measurables: 6-foot-8, 229 pounds, 7-foot-2 wingspan

Class: International

Age: 19

Mike’s Ranking: 17

Evan’s Ranking: 17

Garuba seems to be viewed by some draft analysts as having a limited upside due to the lack of polished offensive skills he currently possesses and the inconsistency he shows as a defender. There is no questioning his elite physical attributes though and those alone may get him drafted in the lottery of this class. However, I think there’s more to be intrigued with Garuba outside of his great athleticism and length that should give teams confidence in his potential.

He’s one of the better rebounders in this draft, showcasing a great motor, especially on the offensive glass. Garuba’s shot-blocking potential is also very apparent and although he’s only made just 31.5 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc during his time with Real Madrid, I think he’s flashed some real promise as a shooter. I think his ultimate pro potential for me would be a better passing version of Los Angeles Clippers forward Serge Ibaka.

There will be some concern with Garuba’s ability to make an immediate impact right away and whatever franchise selects him should view it as a project in developing his skills more. His post-scoring and mainly awareness as a pick-and-roll defender will need to massively improve for him to maximize his potential in the NBA. Once his mind catches up with his immense physical tools, Garuba could be a versatile swing forward who can make plays on both ends of the floor.