Darius Garland Says He's 'Best' Guard in 2019 NBA Draft Amid Cavaliers Rumors

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIJune 16, 2019

Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland plays against Alcorn State in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Most have pegged Ja Morant as the best guard in the upcoming 2019 NBA draft.

Vanderbilt's Darius Garland disagrees.

"I humbly say this, I think I'm the best [guard] in the draft," the 19-year-old said, according to ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin. "I mean, I think I can do everything that an NBA team wants me to do."

McMenamin also reported that Garland "granted private workouts to both the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers" after previously pulling out of May's combine and sitting out Klutch Sports' pro day.

Garland's workout with the Lakers now seems irrelevant, though, as ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday that the team has included its No. 4 overall pick in a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.

The Cavaliers, meanwhile, own the No. 5 overall pick.

NBA.com's Josh Cohen provided insight into the type of player Garland is, even going so far as to compare him to All-Star point guards Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker:

"The 19-year-old, a master at creating space off the dribble, has a smooth step-back jumper and a soft touch on floaters. With supremely good handles, Garland changes speed and direction extremely well. Like Lillard and Walker, Garland can score from all three levels. But, the question is whether he can get his teammates involved as he's not known for being a great facilitator."

Garland declared for the draft after just one season at Vanderbilt, and his freshman campaign abruptly ended Nov. 27 after he underwent surgery to repair his left knee's meniscus injury.

In five games, Garland averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

Despite a limited collegiate offering, USA Today's Scott Gleeson described Garland as "primed to be the 2019-20 Luka Doncic."

Doncic, for reference, is a finalist for 2018-19 NBA Rookie of the Year.

That might seem like an intimidating expectation to tag onto a 19-year-old coming off injury, but nobody seems to be more certain of Garland's abilities than Garland.

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