Houston Elects Usman Garuba; Cade Cunningham, number one

The 2021 Draft started with Cade Cunningham and progressed until he saw Garuba, who fell to 23rd in Houston. The other Spanish, Aldama, surprising.


Spain once again had a young man chosen in the NBA Draft since Juancho Hernangómez, the protagonist this summer although for more negative reasons, was called up by the Nuggets in 2016. His relief has been taken over by Usman Garuba, a powerful power forward for Real Madrid in the the Houston Rockets have set their sights on. The Madrid player based in Azuqueca de Henares, in the province of Guadalajara, and of Nigerian parents fell a little according to what had been deduced from the latest predictions and reached 23rd place, where the Texans did not miss such an opportunity.

The exit clause for Real Madrid is three million euros, as stressed by journalist Donatas Urbonas this week, and he must pay it to fulfill his dream of trying in the NBA at his early age of 19.

Garuba has been living this day in the morning in Tokyo, where he is playing the Olympic Games with the Spanish National Team. He could not be in Brooklyn, therefore, in the return of the players in the presence of the NBA Draft after the fix of the last edition, which was carried out virtually from the homes of each player due to COVID-19.

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The other Spaniard in contention was Santi Aldama, scheduled to start the second round late. The Grizzlies, as they did with the choice of Giddey in 6th place, bet on international talent and took the Spaniard, a teammate in the lower teams of Usman Garuba himself and who was developing his training at Loyola-Maryland, a university prestigious in terms of studies but where the sporting level was not great. Aldama had already decided to take the step to professionals, regardless of the position in which he started, and the bet has been to win the game: end of the first round and a good opportunity to grow in a franchise with a good talent manager, Taylor Jenkins, and many other hungry youth.

The bet is important, it is not trivial, because it was the Jazz who had that place of choice. The Grizzlies have loved Aldama and for that reason they have traded their 40th place for two future second-round elections to climb 10 positions and take over the Spanish, who looks very good as seen in the NCAA last year and with Spain in the training categories a couple of summers ago

Aldama makes history by becoming the first Spaniard to be elected arriving from an American university, an achievement not achieved so far by a national.Benchmark Picks

First position went to Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State University. No surprises. A player whose technique, scoring ability in any situation and an unlimited future can elevate the Pistons, the team that bets on him, from the bottom of the table to something better in the Eastern Conference. Wrapped in retro glasses and ensuring that this new turn in his life is an added opportunity for his daughter, Riley, he was addressing Detroit fans, with whom he begins a beautiful journey.

The Rockets relied on Jalen Green, coming from the new team created in the G-League for young talents, in the second position. The best tall man of the edition, Evan Mobley, goes to Cleveland and the big surprise was Scottie Barnes, a forward who advanced positions until he went to fourth hand with the Raptors. The top-5 was closed by Jalen Suggs, chosen by the Magic.

The rise of Barnes was not as great, however, as that of the Australian Josh Giddey, the best international of this litter, sixth. Finally cut from the call for the Olympic Games, Oklahoma City Thunder bets on this two-meter base and makes its squad even more international. And by the way, it puts the NBL on the map as an entry in the same way that LaMelo Ball did last year. Two other internationals were seventh and eighth, respectively: Congolese Jonathan Kuminga (Warriors) and German Franz Wagner (Magic).

Curious coincidence on 12 and 13. Canadian Josh Primo, the irreducible Spurs despite the fact that the experts gave him much lower to be somewhat green; the Dominican Chris Duarte, to the Pacers at the age of 24.

A Houston, with Garuba, also leaves the Turkish center Alperen Sengun. There are more internationals who were chosen: Rokas Jokubaitis (34), by the Knicks despite his new agreement with Barça; Neemias Queta (39), Portuguese who took the Kings; Filip Petrusev (50), a Serbian from Raznatovic's factory who is going to the Sixers; and three more, the NCAAs Sandro Mamukelashvili (54) and Balsa Koprivica (57) and another Greek who lands in the Bucks, Georgios Kalaitzakis, in his case from the last position.

Photos from as.com

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