Usman Garuba's Draft Scouting Report: Pro Comparison, Updated Rockets Roster

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 05: Usman Garuba #16 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)
Borja B. Hojas/Getty Images

Usman Garuba turned a breakout EuroLeague season into the No. 23 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft. 

The 19-year-old from Spain has spent the past three years playing for Real Madrid. He appeared in all 74 games for the club between Liga ACB and EuroLeague during the 2020-21 season. 

Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report

Player: Usman Garuba

Position: PF/C


Pro ComparisonSerge Ibaka

Scouting ReportDefense and effort have helped Garuba earn minutes in Euroleague since he was 17 years old. He's limited offensively, but he can still add value as a finisher and passer while making the right rotations, playing physical and sliding with guards around the perimeter.


Rockets Active Roster and Average Salary (Expiration Year)

John Wall, PG: $42.8M (2023)

Eric Gordon, SG: $18.9M (2024)

Christian Wood, PF: $13.7M (2023)

Jalen Green, SG: $7.5M (projected first-year salary, per RealGM)

D.J. Augustin, PG: $7M (2023)

Avery Bradley, PG: $5.9M (Team option)

Danuel House, SF: $3.7M (2022)

Alperen Sengun, C: $2.7M (projected first-year salary, per RealGM)

Usman Garuba, PF/C: $2M (projected first-year salary, per RealGM)

Josh Christopher, SG: $1.9M (projected first-year salary, per RealGM)

Kevin Porter Jr., SG: $1.6M (2023)

Jae'Sean Tate, SF: $1.5M (2023)

Kenyon Martin Jr., SF: $1.4M (2024)

Khyri Thomas, SG: $1.3M (2024)


Free Agents

Kelly Olynyk, PF: UFA

Dante Exum, PG: UFA

DJ Wilson, PF: RFA

Sterling Brown, SG: UFA

David Nwaba, SG: UFA

Cam Reynolds, F: RFA

Cameron Oliver, PF: RFA

Anthony Lamb, SF: RFA

Armoni Brooks, SG: RFA

Garuba was named the EuroLeague's Rising Star and Liga ACB Best Young Player last season. He averaged 5.6 points on 46.1 percent shooting and 5.3 rebounds per game in the ACB. 

While still developing his offensive game, Garuba has the potential to be an impact player early in his career because of his size and length on defense. He has to become a more refined scorer to reach his full potential, but the upside is off the charts for the Rockets.

Houston also added Jalen Green of the NBA G League Ignite at No. 2 overall, Besiktas center Alperen Sengun at No. 16 and Arizona State guard Josh Christopher at No. 24 on Thursday.