Draft Profile: Harry Giles Could Be Risk Worth Taking

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The pool of big men who will be available in the middle of the first round should be abundant.  If the Hawks want to go the route of drafting a project and developing him, they could look at 19-year-old Harry Giles.  The 6'11" Duke center didn't play a ton in his only season but has potential, regarded by most as a top reruit in the 2016 class.  For more on him, we spoke with Indiana Sports Coverage founder Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth), who writes about the Indiana Pacers:

What does Harry do well?

He didn't play a whole lot at Duke, but he did prove to make quite an impact as a rebounder, cutter, roll man in the pick-and-roll, and as a threat in transition. What really sets his game apart is his ability to handle the ball and to utilize change of pace as a perimeter playmaker, which is something that not many big men can do. Defensively, he has very good lateral quickness for a big man and that could help a unit with defensive versatility to guard cross match assignments on switches and to handle the nuances of the game. It never hurts to have an athletic power forward that can make plays on defense better than most big men, rebound at a high level, and guard out on the perimeter with great success. 

How does his game translate to the NBA?

Since he is considered a project player, it's hard to see how Giles will produce in terms of an immediate impact in the NBA. He doesn't have sufficient shooting abilities to be a modern power forward that most teams need in their half-court offense, and he doesn't have the weight to be a center yet. However, I believe he can make an instant impact as an energy big man who thrives at doing the dirty work that teams need on both ends of the floor.

What can he do to improve?

I definitely believe that Giles needs to improve his jump shot, especially if he ends up playing most of his minutes as a power forward. He already thrives in the nuances of offense that are necessary for a complementary player except being able to convert on catch-and-shoot jumpers and on jump shots in general. I also believe he needs to get his ball handling skills back to what they were before his injury since that was a major reason why scouts fell in love with him before his second knee injury in high school. Giles could create a truly unique advantage team if he can get close to recovering those abilities since most big men can't keep up with him, especially not laterally.

What style of play suites his game best?

This is a great question about Giles because it truly depends on what position he ends of playing in the NBA. As a power forward, he could struggle to help his team in a spread offense since he doesn't have a consistent jump shot and his ball handling hasn't fully recovered. However, he could create unique advantages as a center, especially if he can recover the skill-set and athleticism that had scouts ranking him as the top high school player in the country. Since he shouldn't play alongside another big man that doesn't consistently knock down deep jump shots, he would be best suited on a team that gets out and runs in transition a lot.

To which current or past NBA player would you compare him?

Before his most recent knee injury, he was drawing Kevin Garnett, Chris Webber, and Amar'e Stoudemire comparisons. However, I believe he projects closer to Bobby Portis since both are high energy players who have great size for the power forward position. To be clear, I mean he can produce at the level that Portis does immediately, not what he can become as a final product. After I thought of a comparison, I searched other websites to see what other analysts said and I found that NBADraft.net shared the same opinion. Both players thrive as energy big men on both ends of the floor and are capable of guarding the perimeter at a very high level with the frame to become impactful post defenders. They both have an above average ability to handle the ball with a need to become more consistent medium volume jump shooters.