2021 NBA Draft: Mock 2.0, star power, trades, big risers

Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Knicks, NBA Draft.(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Knicks, NBA Draft.(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Usman Garuba, NBA Draft. (Photo by Sonia Canada/Getty Images) /

. PF/C. Washington Wizards. Usman Garuba. 19. player. 142

2021 NBA Draft Mock 2.0: Washington Wizards draft exciting big-man Usman Garuba

After trading down with the New York Knicks, the Washington Wizards select the Spanish 19-year-old frontcourt energizer, Usman Garuba.

The Wizards were a quick out in the playoffs but it still feels like they want to compete in the Eastern Conference with Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.

The Wizards have some nice projects in Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura, but this team still needs more depth. By trading down, the Wizards can try and simultaneously plug some holes on the roster while getting a few more shots on hitting big on some prospects. They get a perfect fit in Usman Garuba.

NBA Draft – Usman Garuba NBA player comparisons

  • Kenneth Faried activity on the boards, “full-court” big
  • Derrick Favors
  • Dorian Finney-Smith

If you watched the Washington Wizards offense this season, you saw just how crazy it could get. Crazy in a good and bad way. It always reminded me of how you play NBA 2K when you’re losing and start playing angry – a rapid pace, attacking the rim, taking quick shots.

One of the main storylines all season for Washington was a lack of a presence in their frontcourt, and they get an exciting forward/center prospect with Usman Garuba.

Despite being just 19, Garuba has been a part of Real Madrid for 3 seasons now. Garuba is 6’8 with a massive 7’3 wingspan and he uses that reach when scrapping down low. Garuba has both length and a wide frame, his high-energy rebounding should translate into the NBA.

Garuba’s energy shows up in his speed as well. He’s going to run up and down the court with conviction – he’ll love playing with Russell Westbrook. Now while he never may amount to a big scorer  (No real jump shot or touch away from the basket) Garuba has some chops passing the ball. He makes nice reads off of some basic 2-3 dribble moves and could be an underrated cog of an NBA offense one day.

His potential on defense is intriguing. Garuba already has nice technique and strength as a post defender, and it’s easy to see it continuing to develop. There is serious potential here for Garuba to be able to even defend perimeter players.

Garuba has the wingspan, strength, and quickness to develop a really diverse skillset. The Wizards could get really creative with their lineups with Garuba in the mix.