Luka Garza had a decorated career at the University of Iowa. He finished his career as the consensus NCAA player of the year. Garza was a two-time first-team All-American, two-time Big Ten POTY, and two-time first-team All-Big Ten. Oh, and he was named the Sporting News Player of the Year twice in a row, becoming the first player to do that since Michael Jordan.
Luka Garza 2021 NBA Draft Profile
Well, he will go down in history as one of the best college players of the past decade, mainly because he didn’t dine and dash in the NCAA like many of the stars. Garza finished the 2020-2021 season with 24.1 points and 8.7 boards on 55 percent shooting from the field.
Unfortunately, his college career ended earlier than he had hoped in a second-round loss to Oregon in the NCAA Tournament. Nonetheless, he earned a much-deserved ovation after a terrific final game in a Hawkeyes uniform.
Luka Garza gets an ovation after dropping 36 PTS in his final game with Iowa 👏 pic.twitter.com/QSo4cjKZoM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 22, 2021
His biggest strength is his consistency at the collegiate level. He can score and rebound at a high level. Furthermore, his outside shot has increased dramatically in his last two years.
In his junior year, he averaged 35.8 percent from beyond the arc and increased his shooting to 44 percent in his final year at Iowa. He is a good passer, especially considering his size and desired position.
🔥 Luka Garza did this in 1 half!
He finished with 41 PTS (14/15 FG) in 29 MINS
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 28, 2020
He can do it all. He can score, rebound, pass, and shoot the outside shot, which has become necessary for NBA players, especially considering how the game has evolved in recent years.
For a player as decorated as Garza was in his career, he does have some glaring weaknesses. Usually, a player with his insane accolades would be an easy top-10 pick in the NBA Draft. However, that’s not the case for Garza.
His defense is a tremendous liability and his lack of burst and acceleration aren’t going to be enough against the Anthony Davis‘s of the world.
He will get exposed down low, especially against starting centers at the NBA level.
NBA Player Comparison: Hybrid of Nikola Vucevic and Frank Kaminsky
He can play down low like Vucevic, although not at as high of a level. However, he can pass and hit the outside shot somewhat similar to Kaminsky. To be honest, it’s really tough to compare Garza to anybody in the NBA, and his development will be a huge key to how long he lasts in the NBA. Garza should- at the very worst- be an end-of-the-bench, garbage-time minutes guy. At best he is a rotational piece on a playoff team.
NBA Draft Projection: Early 2nd round
Possible Team Fits- Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets.