Chosen in 23rd position in the last Draft, Usman Garuba was one of four Rockets rookies this season, along with Jalen Green, Josh Christopher and Alperen Sengun. The Spaniard was also the least used of these four young players, with just 24 appearances and 239 minutes in total.
It should be remembered that, sent to the G-League to cut his teeth, the former Real Madrid injured his wrist in January and, operated, had missed two months of competition. He ended his first season with 2 points and 3.5 rebounds on average.
« The physical challenge »he answers to HoopsHype, when asked his biggest surprise against the NBA. “There are so many matches in such a short time that we are more tired than usual. It doesn’t matter if we only play ten minutes, we have to give everything. »
« We’ve all seen how good Anthony Edwards has been this year: Green will be like him next season »
The 2021 class had a remarkable season with several credible contenders for the rookie of the year trophy, ultimately won by Raptors debutant Scottie Barnes.
« I don’t want to say that it is the best in history, but this cuvée is something… »continues Usman Garuba. “We will become one of the biggest in a few years, that’s for sure. It’s incredible: I think of my teammates first, but also of Barnes, Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley. Even second rounders like Herb Jones or an undrafted player like Jose Alvarado. »
Houston’s rookie star was obviously Jalen Green. The back took a few weeks to show all his qualities with regularity. Then, after the All-Star Game, he averaged 22.1 points and his last season was very good, with 28.8 points per game over the last eight meetings.
“There are no limits for him”, announces the Spaniard. “He’ll be an All-Star, that’s for sure. I even think he will be the league’s leading scorer in a few years. We’re going to have to help him achieve his goals. He is by far the player who has surprised me the most this season. We’ve all seen how good Anthony Edwards has been this year: Green will be like him next season. Maybe even better. »