Usman Garuba will continue in the NBA. The Spanish center, 21 years old and 2.03m tall, has reached an agreement with the Golden State Warriors to sign a contract called two-way, which allows him to combine the first team with the subsidiary team of the Development League. Garuba, who just played in the World Cup with the national team, was without a team in the American League after one of those crazy summers in which players are a constant bargaining chip without much to say. After two seasons with the Houston Rockets, Garuba was first transferred to the Atlanta Hawks, and from there to the Oklahoma Thunder, but a few days before the World Cup began, his new franchise released him without even testing him in training. “I’m going to prove to everyone that they’re wrong,” said Garuba, with the confidence of asserting himself in this World Cup as he did in the last Eurobasket.
With Scariolo’s team, the center once again demonstrated in Jakarta that defensive courage that allows him to compensate for his lack of centimeters for the five position, as he demonstrated with a block on Gobert (2.16m) in the final of the European championship. That tournament bathed him in gold and in this summer’s event Garuba served as a replacement for Willy Hernangómez and as a lock for the national team in moments when the coach needed greater delivery without the ball. In his service record, he has 8.2 points, four rebounds and 1.8 assists in 17 minutes on the court on average. And a lot of sweat and dedication to throw himself on the ground for any ball (even with the risk of an injury that would complicate his future). That performance consolidated him as one of the most reliable pieces of the team, a fixture for the present and the future, and he ended up convincing the Warriors coached by Steve Kerr, who is also the United States coach.
Garuba received several offers from two-way, a path that the Spanish center already explored when he landed in the competition after being chosen by Houston in 23rd place in the draft 2021. The reluctance of the American League teams has been based on a double analysis: the franchises consider that they lack size to act as a five and outside shooting range to act as a four. In that limbo, and without a guaranteed prominence, Usman considered the option of returning to Real Madrid, a club where he forged himself as a youth player between 2018 and 2021 and which has the rights to him for Europe. Finally, he will continue in the NBA.
The Madrid team therefore closes its inside game with Yabusele and Ndiaye in the four position and with Poirier and Tavares as five. The great Madrid reference is Edy Tavares, 31 years old and 2.21m tall, considered the most disruptive player in European basketball and in negotiations to renew a contract that ends next summer.
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