NBA Draft 2017 Prospect Watch: Harry Giles

Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /


There are plenty of technical limitations to Giles’ game, but it’s difficult to place too much emphasis on them. Very simply, if Giles can’t find a way to stay on the court in the coming years, some of the other flaws in his game will quickly be rendered meaningless.

Giles is in a unique spot of having already gone through a prospect’s boom to bust cycle before even reaching the NBA.

As Matt Norlander of CBS Sports explained in a piece a few months back, what makes it even stranger in some ways is the way in which Giles is chasing the ghost of himself as much as the legacy of any other great who has previously played the game.

"“The tale of Giles has quickly developed a mythical aura. Though he’s still just 18, people already talk about who he once was, as if that person and player no longer exists. But maybe that’s true. For many, he was one of the most seamlessly dominant prospects to come along in a decade. He was the top-ranked recruit who looked to be the next coming of Chris Webber, a dominant athlete with the proportional skill and acumen of a young Kevin Garnett. Whereas he used to be compared to NBA greats, now he’s compared to a younger, better version of himself.”"

In 2013, Giles tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee. In 2015, Giles then tore the ACL in his right knee. Giles’ impact at Duke has been limited as he was forced to undergo a scope to remove cartilage from his right knee last summer.

This leaves Giles as a potentially franchise changing talent, but one whose greatest gifts are physical and yet is relying on two surgically repaired knees before even entering the pro game.

The fear of recurrence in either or both knees will instantly be enough to put some teams off, but there’s more to it than that. Giles will always be plagued by concerns over how his athleticism will age due to his injury history, while something as simple as putting on weight and bulk to compete with NBA bigs will even force further consideration due to the potential strain that could place on his body.

Giles has room to grow into a much more polished player on both ends, but before any team can worry about that they’ll need to be convinced by the ability of his body to hold up.

Next: What the Experts Say