However, one report indicates that they weren’t able to conduct an interview at the NBA Draft Combine with the 19-year-old after he abruptly left the annual event.
Before leaving the combine, Darius Garland did not meet with the Cavs, I’m told. Cleveland has the fifth pick
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) May 16, 2019
Another report indicated the possible reason for Garland’s departure.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 15, 2019
Garland possesses plenty of ability, but only played in five games as a freshman last season at Vanderbilt. He suffered a meniscus injury in his left knee in a Nov. 23 game against Kent State University and subsequently underwent season-ending surgery.
In those five contests, Garland averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists, with a 33-point effort against Liberty, one of three double-digit scoring efforts he delivered. In addition, he shot 47.8 percent from beyond the arc. Such efforts were no surprise, since he came out of high school as the top point guard in the Class of 2018 and was expected to be a lottery selection in this year’s draft.
Garland’s limited resume at the collegiate level hasn’t dissuaded teams from considering him as a top-10 pick. The Cavaliers may have a sense of deja vu from eight years ago, when they drafted Kyrie Irving as the top overall pick in the 2011 draft. In his only season at Duke University, a foot injury limited the guard to just 11 games.
While Irving continued to have injury concerns in his six seasons with the team, he was also a central figure in the team’s 2016 NBA title run. His 3-pointer in the closing minute of Game 7 of that year’s finals figures to remain the most iconic shot in franchise history for a long time.