CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the Locked On Cavs podcast in the player above is from Aug. 4, 2021.
As Darius Garland enters his third season in the NBA, many Cleveland Cavaliers fans are hoping to see a big leap from the 21-year-old point guard.
Editor's note: More Cleveland Cavaliers coverage from WKYC
But it appears one of Garland's biggest fans also happens to be one of the top players in the league.
On Wednesday's episode of "The Bill Simmons Podcast," Simmons, ESPN's Zach Lowe and longtime NBA reporter Jackie MacMullan found themselves discussing the Cavs' outlook for the 2021-22 season. And while doing so, MacMullan revealed that Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is a big fan of Garland, who Cleveland selected with the No. 5 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft.
"I talked to Steph Curry a couple of weeks ago and I was asking him about young players that he may have reached out to and guess who he said: Darius Garland," MacMullan revealed. "He loves Darius Garland - a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. He thinks that kid is going to be a flat-out star."
Curry isn't the only member of the Warriors roster to have praised Garland. Earlier this year, Golden State forward Draymond Green listed the Vanderbilt product among the hardest players to guard -- high praise from a former Defensive Player of the Year and four-time first-team All-Defensive Selection.
“Darius Garland actually,” Green said last May during an appearance on 95.7 The Game when asked about the toughest players to guard. “And I know that’s probably an unpopular opinion. That kid is so fast, so herky-jerky and he can shoot the ball. When he really figures out how good he truly is.
“I hate getting switched onto him. It’s rough getting switched onto Darius Garland.”
Suffice to say, Garland enters his third year in the NBA with lofty expectations, not just from fans, but players around the league. Last season, the former five-star prospect averaged 17.4 points on .451 shooting (.395 from 3-point range) and 6.1 assists -- numbers that should only increase should his peers be proven correct.