The Golden State Warriors are signing Usman Garuba to a two-way contract, per sources. The Oklahoma City Thunder waived the 6-foot-8 center in August. Garuba, 21, was selected 23rd overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2021 NBA Draft.
“I’ll prove everyone wrong. Mark my words,” he said after OKC cut him. Garuba will have the chance to walk the walk next season. As a native of Madrid, Spain, he played for Real Madrid Baloncesto of the Liga ACB and EuroLeague from 2017 to 2021.
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Free agent center Usman Garuba has agreed to a two-way NBA contract with the Golden State Warriors, sources tell me and @anthonyVslater. The former Rockets first-round pick is coming off averaging 8.2 points and 4 rebounds for Spain in the FIBA World Cup.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 15, 2023
When he was 17 years old in 2019, he became the youngest starter in Real Madrid history. Usman Garuba made 36 appearances in the 2020-21 season in the Liga ACB, averaging 5.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 18.7 minutes per game.
Additionally, he shot 46.1% from the floor, 33.8% beyond the arc, and 67.6% at the foul line. In 2021, Spainard was named EuroLeague Rising Star and ACB Best Young Player.
During his rookie 2021-22 NBA season, Garuba made two starts in 24 games played with the Rockets. He averaged 2.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 10 minutes per game while shooting 43.2% from the field, 25% from deep, and 71.4% at the line.
Golden State Warriors sign center Usman Garuba to a two-way contract; Garuba will join two-way guard Lester Quinones
While with the Rio Grande Vipers, Houston’s G League affiliate, the center averaged 9.0 points, 9.0 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.4 blocks, and 25.3 minutes per game in five starts of the 2021-22 season.
In January 2022, the Rockets announced that Usman Garuba had undergone successful surgery to repair a fractured left wrist and would reportedly miss 6-8 weeks.
Last season, Garuba made one start in 75 appearances with the Rockets. He averaged career highs of 3.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 12.9 minutes per game. Plus, he shot career bests of 48.6% from the floor and 30.7% outside the arc.
Usman Garuba in August after being released by the Thunder: “I’ll prove everyone wrong. Mark my words.”’
Today, he signed a contract with the Golden State Warriors.
Let’s go. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/QM4O2zkks0
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) September 15, 2023
In Houston’s 101-92 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Nov. 16, 2022, the center recorded a career-high 12 points, nine boards, three assists, and three blocks in 22 minutes off the bench. He finished a perfect 7-of-7 (100%) shooting overall.
As part of a five-team trade on July 8, 2023, the Rockets traded Garuba and TyTy Washington Jr. to the Atlanta Hawks. Four days later, the Hawks traded Garuba, Rudy Gay, Washington Jr., and a 2026 second-round draft pick to OKC for Patty Mills.
Garuba is now set to join two-way guard Lester Quinones on the Warriors. Under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, NBA teams can sign three two-way players. That leaves one two-way slot left for Golden State to fill.