Draft Prospectus: Harry Giles

Feb 9, 2017; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Harry Giles (1) reacts after dunking the ball against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

With only a few days to go until the NBA Draft, we’re going to break down a few mock draft selections for the Thunder. We’ve already done six, Semi Ojeleye, Luke Kinnard, Terrance Ferguson, Jawun Evans, Justin Jackson, OG AnunobyDerrick White, and TJ Leaf.We’re going to break down a couple more. Stay with us as the NBA season ends and the NBA offseason ramps up.

Who: Harry Giles
Position: Center
Class: Freshman
Age: 19
Where: Duke
Ht: 6-11
Wt: 222 lbs.

Harry Giles college career left much to be said. Coming out of the prep ranks, Giles was seen by many as the front-runner to be the 2017 No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Three knee surgeries later and a less than stellar, injury-riddled freshman season at Duke has now left Giles as one of the biggest question marks entering this years draft.

Overview as a college player

Giles was primed and ready for a dominant freshman year before an October left knee arthroscopy set him back.  It was Giles’ third knee surgery in four years, and it had an immense impact on his much-heralded freshman season.

Giles, a Winston-Salem product, wasn’t able to make his season debut until Dec. 20 against Tennessee State, and he finished the season playing in 26 games averaging 11.5 minutes per contest. Giles averaged 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, neither of which jump off the stat sheet.

However, he finished the season strong, especially in the ACC tournament, finishing with six points, seven rebounds and one monster block in Duke’s semi-final upset of eventual national champion North Carolina.


Giles is your prototypical freak athlete, high energy type of player. Although he didn’t regain all of his athleticism this past season at Duke, it is well known one doesn’t truly regain his or her old form until two years after ACL surgery.

“Harry has great energy,” Mike Krzyzewski said when asked by the Blue Devil Network about his star freshman.

“He’s a great kid.”

Giles also has a great NBA body, standing 6-11, 222 pounds, with a sprawling wing span of 7-3. He has the perfect body for an athletic, stretch four in the NBA.

It’s clear on film that Giles also has a good feel for the pick-and-roll, especially as the roll man when it comes to lobs. His athleticism allows him to go up and snag the ball from would-be defenders and slam it home. Giles has been working to develop his jump shot, something that could get better with time.

Giles rebounds with a reckless abandon, averaging 13.3 rebounds per 40 minutes this past season, with 5.5 of those rebounds coming on the offensive end. He attacks the boards with relentless energy, something whichever team drafts him will surely appreciate.


The first thing that comes to mind is his health. First round picks are valuable in the NBA, making it hard to spend one on somebody who hasn’t proven he can stay healthy.

It’s also very well known that Giles freshman season at Duke didn’t light the world on fire. Although injuries definitely played a role, it’s a fact that he hasn’t proven he can produce NBA-type numbers at the Division 1 level.

Giles also had an issue fouling this past season, averaging a whopping 7.7 fouls per 40. Who knows if this is product of his small workload, but regardless it’s a major red flag on the defensive end of the ball.

Why OKC should draft him

Giles isn’t a guy that will walk in on day one and dominate. However, if he stays healthy, he could be the steal of this draft.

With his size and ability to guard big men, Giles could also offer Oklahoma City some flexibility and allow them to begin shopping Enes Kanter aggressively on the market.

Add that with an improving jump shot, and an innate ability to maneuver the pick-and-roll, and Giles seems worth the risk.

His injury history is frightening, no doubt, but some of the best picks Sam Presti ever has made in the draft have been his riskiest ones (see Russell Westbrook.)

One year of complete health would do wonders to Giles confidence and overall ability.

“When he finally is completely confident about his body, and his body is confident about what his mind is doing, I think he’s got a chance to be a really, really good player in the NBA,” Krzyzewski said.

A vote of confidence from one of the best college coaches ever never hurts either.

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