Duke has had a long history of producing NBA talent. This current Blue Devils team features a plethora of pro prospects. Perhaps No player carries as many question marks as Harry Giles, who wants to catapult his way into the NBA lottery conversation.
Giles was the Nation’s number one high school basketball recruit in 2016. Some said he was the most gifted high school athlete since O.J. Mayo. Injuries cost Giles a sizeable portion of prep career. As a result, he never got to play his senior season.
During his high school campaign, Giles suffered two serious knee injuries. This wasn’t a good sign for Giles, who was already being labeled as an injury risk. Upon his first practice with Duke, Giles had knee surgery, missing six weeks of action.
Upon his return, Giles hasn’t looked like the nation’s top overall recruit. He’s only averaged 5.4 points and 5.5 rebounds, doing so in 12 minutes per game. Truthfully, Giles hasn’t seen the court much, but that’s due in large part to his knee injuries, as Coach K and his staff are no doubt easing him back into heavy minutes.
If Giles were averaging 25 minutes per contest, scoring and rebounding in double figures would almost be a certainty. However, until he proves that the injuries are a thing of the past, expect him to play limited minutes. This doesn’t bode will for his NBA chances.
Regardless of his limitless upside, Giles isn’t going to be drafted as a lottery pick in 2017. Unlike fellow Duke alumni, Kyrie Irving, who also returned from an injury his freshman season, Giles hasn’t shown anyone upon his return from an injury that he can be an NBA superstar. And with three separate knee issues already, it’s going to be real tough convincing a team to take a gamble.
For the benefit of Giles, his freshman year at Duke must not be his last. Not only is he not ready for the NBA, but he’s still got a lot of basketball to be played before he’s back to the player he once was. This was a guy who didn’t play a minute of basketball his senior year of high school. Unless he steps up big time for Duke to end the season, he’s going to find that staying for a sophomore season is in his best interest.
If Harry Giles does indeed leave for the NBA, it will be a big risk. He’s certainly got the talent, it’s just not time. Giles might wish to take the money now and sigh a contract before he sustains another injury, which could happen if he stays at Duke. It’s not an easy decision for Giles, but he’s definitely not ready for the NBA.
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