In a new podcast, veteran sportswriter Jackie MacMullan indicates that veteran guard Stephen Curry is raving about the potential of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, saying that he’s a future star.
MacMullan appeared on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” and was seemingly surprised (at the 34:30 mark) about Curry’s strong endorsement of Garland, who’s currently preparing for his third NBA season.
“I talked to Steph Curry a couple weeks ago, and I was asking him about young players he might have reached out to and guess who he said?” MacMullan remarked. “Darius Garland, Darius Garland, he loves Darius Garland a lot, a lot, a lot. He thinks that kid is gonna be a flat-out star.”
Garland was the fifth overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft and has had the usual ups and downs that young players encounter during their first few seasons in the league.
One difference in the 21-year-old Garland’s arrival with the Cavaliers was that he had played in just five games at the collegiate level due to a season-ending injury. In addition, his rookie campaign was abruptly ended when the NBA shut down in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his two seasons thus far, Garland has averaged 14.8 points, 4.9 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game. However, this past season, those numbers were on the upswing and are expected to continue moving in a positive trajectory.
The fact that Curry’s offering such an enthusiastic endorsement, given his stature in the league, has to boost the confidence of both Garland and the Cavaliers.
How much Garland can help the Cavaliers improve during the 2021-22 season remains uncertain, though Curry had his own growing pains before developing into a future Hall of Famer.
Garland may never put up numbers as Curry has, but it seems clear that Curry won’t be surprised if that does happen in the future.