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 /

Fit With The Bucks

A healthy version of Harry Giles would be a fascinating fit for the Bucks, but considering Jabari Parker’s currently recovering from a second ACL tear of his own, it would be understandable if any prospect with injury red flags gave Milwaukee major pause for thought.

On the other hand, with the Bucks likely to pick close to the 20th overall pick this year, many of their more obvious targets may well be off the board at that juncture. If ever there was a team prepared to take a gamble on Giles, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if it turned out to be the team who picked Thon Maker 10th overall last year, or Giannis Antetokounmpo 15th in 2013.

Even if relatively healthy, Giles may never amount to more than a backup big for the Bucks, but the idea of what a front court trio of Antetokounmpo, Giles and Maker could do defensively in the long term is certainly a fun hypothetical.

Having been hyped up to be a superstar for years, Giles has had to deal with disappointment and a shift in the narrative recently. That will make the organization he lands with all the more important. A team with a good development culture, and existing stars would immediately relieve Giles of some pressure, and from there perhaps he gets a chance to flourish.

Giles’ coach at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, remains bullish about the North Carolina native’s pro prospects. Coach K even told Hank Tucker of the Duke Chronicle that he believes there’s so much more to come from Giles because injuries have slowed his development process down.

"“Harry is coming off of some really bad injuries. He’s still—you know, a year from now [he] will probably get it. He’s put it all out there. When our guys have seen that, it’s been a lift. It’s been a huge lift for us.”"

Particularly important in gauging the risk of drafting a player with an injury history is their attitude. The Bucks have already seen Jabari Parker come back from injury and he remains as committed as ever to fully recover a second time, because of his positivity and determination. Krzyzewski indicates that Giles has a similar makeup, and spoke of a conversation he had with Giles spurring a resurgence in his play late in the season.

"“You’re the most enthusiastic kid I’ve ever been around, and you’re not bringing your enthusiasm,” Coach K said. “That was never hurt. But I think you’re not using it. Just be enthusiastic and see what happens, and I think he’s done that. Instead of being methodical and trying to think about everything, he’s been more athletic.”"

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In terms of personality and work ethic, Giles would be a great fit for any of the NBA’s 30 teams. The question is now centered on which team is going to choose to take the gamble on his health come draft night. If Giles falls into the mid to late first round as expected, he might just be a risk worth taking for some team who wouldn’t need him to be a focal point.