Former No. 1 recruit and Duke standout Harry Giles is one of the most intriguing NBA Draft picks in this year’s edition of the draft. He is not what most people would describe as a classic “one-and-done” as he never really took off during his freshman year and had torn two ACLs before even stepping foot on Duke’s campus.
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Now, CBS Sports is describing him as the “biggest risk-reward” pick since Joel Embiid in 2014. And they go on to compare the two as their both about seven feet and can step out to shoot the long ball. Giles had been described as one of the most impactful players his age even after his first torn ACL in high school. However, like Embiid, his injury history is concerning and could scare some teams out of drafting him.
CBS Sports also got quite the insightful quote from a Western conference front-office executive:
“You’re taking a bet on a kid because he has the tools and is naturally gifted, but you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. He’s a bit of a mystery and such a challenging evaluation. A couple years ago he was one of the most impactful players out there at his age and in his class. If you feel like you have a pretty deep team and you’re looking to take a flier on a kid who does have legitimate upside if he can put it all together and stay healthy, I do think he’s easily a high first-round talent. But there’s also a ton of risk there. If you’re a team that’s a young up-and-coming team and looking to add guys who are more ready to play now, maybe there’s too many question marks on Harry.”
It sounds like a team picking later in the draft might find some good use for him like the Spurs, Warriors or other team that can afford to wait and develop him into a solid player without risking injury by playing him big minutes in games. Giles one year in college was not what some would call special as he only averaged 3.9 points, 0.7 blocks and 3.8 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per game.
Her per-40 stats — what a player would be expected to do if he played 40 minutes a game — are more encouraging though. They suggest he would have scored 13.6 points and grabbed 13.3 rebounds a game to go with 2.3 blocks per game, but that he would also foul out with 7.7 fouls a game. Of course, he wouldn’t be able to record those stats if he’s fouling out of the game so it should be interesting to see how teams evaluate him ahead of June’s draft.