It looks like the Houston Rockets just got some good news. First round draft pick Usman Garuba, whose status with the team that drafted him was up in the air due to a complicated buyout scenario with Real Madrid of the Euro League, has reportedly come to an agreement and is expected to join the Rockets.
As reported by Marca, Usman Garuba has reached an agreement with Real Madrid and he'll be able to pay his buyout in multiple installments, so he'll join the Rockets already this season. Garuba's buyout is worth around €3 million and would have increased in the coming seasons.— Orazio Francesco Cauchi (@paxer89) August 10, 2021
As mentioned in the tweet, getting the buyout finalized now was the best course of action, as it would have only increased had the two sides been unable to come to an agreement. The Rockets can contribute up to $775,000 of the total buyout number, but Garuba has to cover the rest out of his own contract. His draft slot means he has a four-year deal with Houston for $11.8 million, with only the first two years guaranteed and team options for years three and four.
Garuba is the only one of Houston’s four first round draft picks we have yet to see in action with the Rockets, though we did get to see him play in the Olympics, where he had a studly block on Jayson Tatum that whipped fans into a frenzy about his defensive potential.
No word yet if he’ll arrive with the Rockets in time to play in the Summer League, but the team included him on the roster in the hopes that he would make it, so that’s still a possibility. We’ll keep you posted on his status as we hear more.