San Antonio Spurs Draft

Mock Draft 2.0: Final mock before Thursday's 2021 NBA Draft

Jalen Suggs, Jared Butler - Baylor v Gonzaga
Jalen Suggs, Jared Butler - Baylor v Gonzaga / Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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19 of 31
NBA Draft
Usman Garuba - FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Liga ACB Final / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

. . Real Madrid. Usman Garuba. player. Power Forward. 18. 149

With the 18th overall pick in the draft, we are once again back to Oklahoma City. So far in this draft, they've managed to acquire James Bouknight and Josh Giddey: an elite scorer and playmaker, respectively, that both have good size.

Given that Bouknight and Giddey both have some question marks on defense, if I'm the Thunder, I'll be looking for the best player available, but pay closer attention to defense. In this case, with the 18th overall pick, I have the Thunder securing another draft steal in Usman Garuba.

As I've already preached on here multiple times over the past few months, I think Garuba is being tremendously underrated and that he could easily be picked in the late lottery of the 2021 NBA Draft. I think he has the potential to be the best all-around defender in his draft class and has shown some evidence that he could develop a half-decent jump shot with some development.

Standing at about 6'8" with a 7'3" wingspan, he has the size, build, and motor to play either the 4 or small-ball 5. Right off the bat, he should be effective in the league by making good cuts toward the basket and as the roll man after setting picks. I think that he and Giddey in particular will bring out the best in one another on that end of the floor.

On defense, he's capable of making effective closeouts on the perimeter, defending the ball-handler, playing effective drop coverage in the pick-and-roll, and sliding over as the help defender in emergency situations. He can do just about everything on that end of the floor and will make a big impact from day one.

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