Houston Rockets' Usman Garuba rookie comp: Bam Adebayo
In Adebayo’s rookie season he averaged 6.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 19.8 minutes a game. His defense graded out as a plus with a 0.7 defensive box plus/minus but, Adebayo looked like a rookie on both ends of the court.
Garuba enters the NBA with a ferocious defensive reputation but a long way to go on the offensive end. His offensive upside probably isn't as high as what Adebayo has shown but he has a chance to replicate him on the defensive end.
Fortunately, the Rockets have an excellent environment for Garuba to develop. Christian Wood is an elite offensive big and their spread-out offense should maximize his minimal offensive skillset early on.
Garuba was selected with the 23rd pick. If he ends up as a plus defender and a negative on offense, that’ll still be a win for the Rockets. Comparing Garuba to Adebayo long-term is unfair to both of them, but expecting him to replicate his rookie season is well within the realm of possibility.