Lakers NBA Draft Scouting Report: Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland

Darius Garland Scouting Report

Getty Darius Garland of Brentwood Academy attempts a dunk during the 2018 McDonald's All American Game,

Despite only appearing in five nonconference games for Vanderbilt last season, Darius Garland still finds himself sitting at the top of the 2019 NBA Draft class. With the Lakers set to pick fourth, Garland is projected to fall into their lap as one of the best remaining players on the board after the big three of Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and RJ Barrett.

In his brief time at Vanderbilt, Garland posted some gaudy scoring numbers and averaged 16.8/3.2/2.8 on some extremely impressive 58.1/47.8 shooting splits. Unfortunately, Garland suffered an injury to his right knee which shut him down for the season, limiting the sample size of his work and likely keeping him from being a top two or three pick.

Lakers NBA Draft Scouting Report: Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland Strengths

2019 NBA Draft Junkies Profile | Darius Garland – Offensive StrengthsSTRENGTHS -Excellent ball handler with shifty handle and bounce in his step -Crafty player with excellent instincts using a hesitation and shake and bake moves to keep defenders off balance -Good at splitting pick & rolls, putting defenders in jail -Plays with excellent pace -Quick first step -Very high upside as a shooter from behind the arc -Has a nice pull up jumper and in between game; Good overall shooter off the dribble -Good rebounder from point guard position -Solid passing instincts Instrumental by Jimmy Del Negro

Shooting, shooting, shooting. Above all else, Garland is a fantastic shooter with nearly limitless range. Able to thrive off the dribble or in catch and shoot situations, there really isn’t a look that Garland doesn’t feel comfortable taking. While his sample size is small, he hit nearly 50% of his looks from deep in college with the vast majority coming from WELL beyond NBA range in situations where he pulled up off the dribble.

In addition to his shooting, Garland is extremely quick with the basketball and does a good job at getting by his man to penetrate the interior of the defense. While his handles could use a bit of cleaning up, he has a repertoire of moves well beyond his years and uses them well to create space for his shots. He is unquestionably the best pure shooter in the draft and for a team like the Lakers (aka desperate for shooting), he could make a lot of sense from a fit standpoint.

Lakers NBA Draft Scouting Report: Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland Weaknesses

NBA Draft Junkies Red Flag Series – Darius GarlandThis series will uncover the Red Flags, warning signs or glaring weaknesses of each draft prospect.2019-05-31T22:24:33.000Z

For the tantalizing upside that comes with Garland, there also are some serious red flags about how his play might translate to the NBA. First, Garland is a small 6’3″, clocking in at under 180 pounds. While we’ve seen plenty of smaller guards thrive in the NBA, they usually take some time to adjust to the increased speed and physicality of the NBA. Garland’s size and athleticism alone put a firm cap on his defensive upside and at his worst, he could be a player defenses try to repeatedly pick on.

Aside from the physical element, Garland needs to make better decisions with the basketball on offense. While his style of play is more of a gunslinger who is prone to pull up and knock down a shot at any moment, there are times he plays a bit too frenetic on offense and turns the ball over. Going off this point, he needs to work on the timing and accuracy of his passes, specifically in the pick and roll. Too often he misses the window for an easy pass because he’s so focused on scoring the basketball himself. While a little selfishness isn’t bad, you need a point guard at the NBA level who can effectively make those passes in the screen and roll game.

The Final Verdict on Darius Garland: Good Fit for the Lakers or Not?

Decoding the Dazzling Darius Garland – Player Breakdown / Scouting ReelDarius Garland is a creative, thrilling 6-2, and 175-pound guard originally from Gary, Indiana. He spent a short season of college basketball at Vanderbilt for Bryce Drew, the man who always looks like he’s getting ready to take an offering, hold the hands of an older lady, thank her for her green bean casserole and pray. Might be a good career path for him now that’s he’s been fired. I KID! (I’ve been fired, I get it.) Darius is the son of Winston Garland, a bucket-getter himself, who spent eight seasons in the NBA with a variety of teams, from 1987 to 1995. Garland the Younger is a painter with the basketball, but he’s somewhat of a mystery, having suffered a season-ending meniscal injury to his left knee after only five games. _____________________ Check out the written piece: Follow me on Twitter and we can shoot the shit about players: @jkylemann and @dimedrophoops Who would you like to see a video for next? Tell us at And check out the website at Animation: Doppelganger – Graphic Design & Illustration: (My gorgeous and talented wife) Sound Design, Editing, VO, Theme Song: Yours Truly, Bitches _______________ IMPORTANT *I do not own the footage used in this video. Its use is intended for the purposes of commentary only.*2019-05-31T15:06:28.000Z

The biggest question if the Lakers decide to take Garland is what the ball handling situation on the team will be. The Lakers already have a point forward in LeBron James playing with their true point guard Lonzo Ball. Both James and Ball NEED the ball in their hands in order to be effective and adding Garland to the mix only further complicates the matter.

Garland’s arrival would also create a bit of a logjam at point guard as both he and Lonzo play the same position. While in theory, you could play them together in the backcourt, neither player has experience as an off-ball two guard and with LeBron James’ championship window closing, now might not be the best time to experiment.

However, his shooting skills are unparalleled and if the Lakers and new coach Frank Vogel can find a way to work him into the rotation without disrupting their other players too much, Garland might be the answer to their shooting woes.

TLDR: Positionally – no, skill wise – YES