Position: C
Height/Weight: 6'10" / 240 lbs
School/Club: Duke
Status: Freshman
Birthday: April 28, 1998

DRAFT TRADE: Traded to Sacramento Kings

About Harry Giles

It’s safe to say Harry Giles hasn’t been able to catch a break. Or at least, his knees haven’t been able to catch a break. In 2013, a player who had been on the national radar for several years tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee. Giles fought through that serious mishap and seemed back to his old self in the summer of 2015—mobile, explosive, high motor, relentless rebounder. Then in November of that year, he tore the ACL in his right knee. Once again, Giles went to work rehabbing, and he became the consensus No. 1 player in the high school class of 2016. But after signing with Duke and undergoing yet another knee surgery, then missing the first 11 games of his freshman season, Giles never got to properly showcase his great skills. Perhaps another season in college might have benefitted Giles, so he could prove to scouts that three knee surgeries hadn’t sapped his explosiveness. But he chose to enter the 2017 NBA Draft, which makes him a tough call. Some teams will remember the effortless way he used to play the game. Others will be scared off by the history of knee issues. But Giles was ready to test himself again. “Playing in the NBA has been my goal for as long as I can remember,” Giles said.


  • 7-foot-3 wingspan
  • Athletic ability (if healthy)
  • Motor
  • Can score at the rim
  • Effective scoring off pick-and-rolls
  • Can get out in transition
  • Shot blocker


  • How much has knee trouble affected his game?
  • Free-throw shooting
  • Still learning how to let the game come to him
  • Has to get bigger and stronger

NBA projection: Giles has been projected a late first-round pick.

2016-17 Season
Giles never got a chance to shine in his lone season at Duke. Recovering from yet another knee surgery, he missed the first 11 games, and it took a while for him to get his bearings. He wound up playing limited minutes and giving only scant glimpses of the player who was rated by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index as the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2016. Giles squeezed in a few highlights, like his lone double-double of the year—10 points and 12 boards against Georgia Tech—and his season-high of 12 points against Boston College.

Key statistics: 3.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 11.5 mpg, .577 FG, .500 FT

Career Highlights: One of just seven freshman in the country to be named to the 2017 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list. Before arriving at Duke, ranked as the consensus No. 1 overall by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. Owns three gold medals as a member of the USA Basketball program.

Cool statistic: Giles proved he could stuff a stat sheet in Duke’s run to the ACC tournament title, producing six points, seven rebounds and four blocks in a win over sixth-ranked North Carolina in the semifinals.

Reminds me of: Julius Randle

What Insiders Say
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski

“We wanted to try to push that process a little bit by starting him. We see him in practice keep getting better, better being more comfortable with contact. Like ‘Oh yeah this is what you can do’ and all that. And in shape. So we had it where we were going to kind of split time. Marques [Bolden] had a good second half, but [Georgia Tech] has kind of a smaller lineup so they spread you. So it’s a little more difficult to have that, just replacing each other. Harry was diving for loose balls. He had the double-double. He doesn’t have the athleticism yet that he will. He’s made really positive steps forward.”

What Outsiders Say
NBA Scout

“[Giles’ knee problems are] obviously a concern. We’re all concerned. How healthy is he? Where is he as far as his recovery? Is he 100 percent? Is he 82 percent? Where is he?”


Chris Dortch is the editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. You can email him here, follow him on Twitter and listen to the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Hour.

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