2021 NBA Draft Profile



Round 123
Drafted By:Houston Rockets
6-8 / 229 lbs
Real Madrid
Draft 2021

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About Usman Garuba

• Usman Garuba is a young, chiseled forward who gained significant high-level experience and displayed intriguing defensive versatility playing for Real Madrid in the EuroLeague and ACB over the last two seasons. An early bloomer who solidified himself as a prospect averaging 16.3 points, 12.4 assists, and 2.9 blocks per game for Spain at the 2016 FIBA U16 European Championship as a 15-year-old, the Madrid native was dominant at times in FIBA youth and Spanish junior play. Spending his entire career to his point with Real Madrid, Garuba made his ACB debut at age 16 and began seeing meaningful minutes for the historic Spanish club two years ago. Averaging 4.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game last season, the 19-year-old forward earned EuroLeague Rising Star and ACB Best Young Player honors.

• Listed at 6’8 with a promising 230-pound frame to go along with a good length, Garuba is a smooth all-around athlete with the dimensions to conceivably play some small-ball center and the agility to slide with smaller players guarding on the perimeter.

• Garuba may not have played a major offensive role last season on one of the most talented rosters in Europe, but he made some positive strides with his skill set that were apparent late in the year.  A capable finisher who is more long and agile than overly explosive, he was effective rolling to the rim, ducking inside, and crashing the glass as he played almost exclusively off the ball.  Sliding out to the perimeter more regularly than he did a year ago, he found a comfort level with his jumper late in the year but still has room to grow in terms of mechanics and consistency.

• Not looking out place guarding some of the top players in the sport outside of the NBA, Garuba did much of his best work defensively last season.  The 19-year old has a promising blend of intensity, timing, and fluidity.

Advanced Stats

• Playing a minor role on a Real Madrid team that was extremely deep with contributors, Garuba’s role shifted to the perimeter some from last season as he saw minutes at both the power forward and center positions.

• Doing much his scoring inside, Garuba found opportunities in a variety of ways off the ball showing nice quickness rolling to the rim, some physicality on the glass, and even the ability to fill lanes in transition. Averaging 1.26 points per shot around the rim in the half court [65th percentile], the Madrid native is not the most creative finisher, but he is quick off his feet and provided some value scoring miscellaneous points off his effort level.

• Showing some ability to step away from the and keep the ball moving, Garuba did a nice job making passes out of short rolls, served a facilitator from the high-post for stretches at the junior level, and will attack an occasional closeout. He had some issues with turnovers pushing the ball himself in transition and when unselfishly trying to thread the ball through tight spots to teammates, but flashed the ability to make reads in limited opportunities last season.

• Spending more time spacing the floor then he did a early in his career, Garuba averaged 0.88 points per jump shot in the half court [40th percentile]. He shoots a bit of a one-handed push shot, but began to find a rhythm with it late in the year both from beyond the arc and at the foul line.

Defensive Analysis

• Showing the ability to slide on the perimeter and make some plays with his length and motor inside, Garuba is still maturing in some ways, but made an impact on the defensive end for stretches this season anyway. Allowing 0.78 points per one-on-one possession [65th percentile], he held up better at times on the perimeter than in the post, but flashed significant versatility.

• Chipping in on the glass and as a rim protector, Garuba is not the most explosive defender, but did a lot of little things for a 19-year-old competing against high-level competition.


— Profile by Synergy Sports