Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland is an interesting case in this NBA Draft.
Garland only played five games with the Commodores due to injury. He looked explosive during those few games, and his injury isn’t known to be a long-time issue. Garland also is signing with LeBron James-owned Klutch Sports for representation.
Given all that, Garland is a top-10 lock. Teams looking for a point guard will certainly consider Garland’s scoring ability and his penchant playing on the ball. Plus, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Garland left the NBA Draft combine, with rumors floating that he had a draft promise from a team in the lottery.
One of those teams might be the Lakers, who, despite using a top five pick on Lonzo Ball in 2017, need a ball-handler not named LeBron. LA earned the fourth overall pick in Tuesday’s lottery.
The Suns, picking sixth, also need a point guard who can drive the offense while Deandre Ayton works the middle of the floor and Devin Booker scores from the perimeter.
Where do draft experts expect him to land in June’s draft? Both teams come up often.
From Brentwood Academy to Vanderbilt, Darius Garland is a Music City basketball star with special skills and a big smile.
Adam Sparks, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee
Darius Garland to the Lakers
Jonathan Givony, ESPN
Why Garland to the Lakers? “Garland is a strong fit alongside Lonzo Ball and LeBron James. The Lakers need more shot creation and shot-making on their roster, and Garland is a good fit here. The fact that he shares the same agent as James probably won’t hurt.”
Why Garland to the Lakers? “The 6-3 point guard is a knock-down outside shooter, which is consistently valuable next to the ball dominance of LeBron James. He would also allow Lonzo Ball to slide into a larger role off the ball, eliminating some of the negative impact of his limited shooting range and highlighting his ability to cut smartly.”
Darius Garland to the Suns
Why Garland to the Suns? “Last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Deandre Ayton, is on record saying Phoenix needs a point guard. So selecting Garland here would make a lot of sense — even if he is coming off of season-ending knee surgery, which is less than ideal. Before getting hurt, Garland appeared in five games for Vanderbilt. He averaged 16.2 points while shooting 53.7% from the field and 47.8% from 3-point range. He’s great with the ball. He’s a tremendous shooter. If he develops into an All-Star, it won’t surprise me.”
Why Garland to the Suns? “The pre-draft process represents a suitable opportunity for Darius Garland to strengthen his case as the No. 2 point guard in the class.
Thank you! You’re almost signed up for
Keep an eye out for an email to confirm your newsletter registration.
“He’ll plug a gaping hole in Phoenix, where the Suns need both point guard play and shooting.”
Why Garland to the Suns? “The Suns need a point guard, and even though it’s not Morant, Darius Garland will be a good fit for this young talented group. Garland only played five collegiate basketball games before suffering a season-ending knee injury but his draft stock hasn’t wavered. Garland is a true floor general who is a great passer, super quick in the lane and a solid defender. He might just be the missing piece alongside Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.”
Why Garland to the Suns? “Garland is small but mighty (think Steph Curry size-wise). Scouts have said to me that Garland, a better shooter than Morant, has a really, really good shot at becoming the better NBA point guard between the two of them. He can score from everywhere.
“Garland next to Booker is intriguing; both are score-first guards. I don’t know if it would work, but I know this much: I’d watch.”