Charlotte Hornets: Early observations on Luka Garza for NBA Draft

Looking into early picks for the 2021 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Hornets will have a lot of future talent to look at.

Fans recently got to see the Charlotte Hornets partook in another edition of the NBA Draft a couple of months ago. With that behind us, teams will likely now start looking at talent in 2021’s draft.

Moving forward, the Hornets will likely be looking at further upgrading their center position. The Hornets did not make significant changes at this position in the offseason, as they only drafted one in the second-round and re-signed Bismack Biyombo.

However, one prospect that will likely be heading into this year’s draft may catch the Hornets’ eye. Luka Garza, of the Iowa Hawkeyes, has been a force. Garza is a senior, and he currently leads his team in scoring. Garza is also the NCAA’s second-highest scorer with his 27.2 points per game.

Garza was originally going to enter the 2020 NBA Draft, but he changed his mind and returned to Iowa for one last season. He is currently favorited to win a few awards this season due to his impressive play as a big man.

In the middle of last year, one NBA executive said, “I know what he did last season in college, but he could use one more year to work on his body, his perimeter shot and his defense. Then maybe he gets drafted.”

In November, Garza was named to the Kareem Abdul Jabbar Award watch list. This award is given to the nation’s best center in college basketball.

On January 7th, ESPN’s Robbie Hummel compared Garza to Brad Miller, who was an undrafted free agent that was signed by the Hornets in 1998. Miller was a starter for most of his career; he averaged 11.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

The Hornets currently do not have a lot of offense coming from their center position, which isn’t a surprise since this is the team’s weakest position. Garza is a strong big man that can score in the paint and from behind the arc.

Garza has various moves when attacking the basket, but his three-point shot is interesting. He’s currently making 1.8 threes per game and is shooting 49% from deep.

While Garza’s offense has been spectacular to watch, his body and defense still need a little work. His size makes him a liability, as it affects his mobility. Garza is currently 6’11 and weighs around 265 lbs.

Garza’s offense will be enough to continue to raise his draft stock, but his abovementioned size will need to be improved if he wishes to go up the ranks. This would be a player that fans should watch, as he fits a need at center for the Hornets.