2019 NBA Draft Profile: Darius Garland
Vitals: 6-2, 175 pounds, point guard
Birthdate: Jan. 6, 2000
College: Vanderbilt (1 year)
Stats: 16.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 53.7% FG, 75.0% FT
NBA.com consensus mock draft: Fourth pick to L.A. Lakers
Stock watch: Rising
The last time a freshman point guard who appeared in fewer than a dozen college games went in the lottery was 2011, when Cleveland chose Kyrie Irving at No. 1. Whichever team lands Garland – who suited up for only five Vanderbilt games due to a knee injury – would love to get similar results. Despite not being able to display his talent in a game since November, Garland remains more highly regarded than several lottery targets who starred during March Madness.
Garland is frequently described as a dynamic floor general, someone whose style of play fits well with the recent NBA trend of point guards being able to create for themselves and others. “Shoot-first point guard can score anywhere on the court,” NBA.com noted. “Also has speed and playmaking ability.” The son of former NBA guard Winston Garland, the 19-year-old possesses a crafty game that often allows him to play beyond his years. “Possesses some of the best ballhandling skills in the 2019 draft class,” NBADraft.net complimented. “Has an adept ability to create his own shot … A slick isolation player with refined pull-up abilities off the dribble. Very crafty at setting up shots and using change of speed and pump fakes to get defenders biting and off-balance.”
Areas of improvement
NBA scouts and teams have benefited from the age minimum over the past decade-plus, because it forces the majority of draftable players to go through a full college season, testing their ability to overcome the adversity that seldom surfaces against high school competition. Garland excelled in his handful of college games, but left some question marks, according to draft analysts. “Relatively unproven, especially risky to be taken as a high/mid-lottery pick without having had to prove himself over the course of a college season,” NBADraft.net cautioned. The Nashville native also has battled turnovers, finishing his small-sample college season with more turnovers (15) than assists (13).