The San Antonio Spurs could draft Harry Giles late in the first round thanks to the Duke prospect’s dip in draft stock.
Due to his two major knee injuries and underwhelming season at Duke this year, Harry Giles has seen his draft stock fall dramatically. Could the San Antonio Spurs take advantage of this and actually help Giles in the long run?
San Antonio has done well for themselves in recent drafts to build for the future. And historically they have hit big late in the first round. With Giles going anywhere from the lottery to the second round due to his knee problems, the Spurs could hit the jackpot yet again.
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But with every reward there’s a risk. Should Giles fall to the Spurs so late in the draft, it would be because there are still concerns about his health. That means selecting Giles could be a gamble.
But with the chance to select a potential All-Star the team could take this risk, considering how stable they seem to be for the next few years.
Plus Patty Mills, who turns 29 this summer, will be a free agent after this year and will likely draw some big offers.
Slowly but surely, this team is trending young. And it is never a bad idea to think long term. So far they have done well to draft guys that complement their new face of the franchise. Bertans is a knock down three-point shooter, while Anderson and Murray are good playmakers.
Add to that Jonathon Simmons and Dewayne Dedmon. Both 27 and key role players (with Simmons showing flashes of more) and you have a pretty good core. But what this team should be looking for next is their center of the future.
Part II: Harry Giles
At one point in his high school days, Harry Giles looked like the sure No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Even after the ACL, MCL and meniscus injury in his left knee back in 2013, Giles was dominating the AAU and international circuits with his size and athleticism.
But in 2015, he tore his other ACL, which was the injury that led to his slow start at Duke this season.
While he eventually got himself into coach Mike Krzyzewski’s rotation, he never got back to his old self. Defensively he never seemed to fully get the rotations and coverages, while offensively he never developed a post game.
While the offense was something we all knew he’d need to develop, the defensive troubles are the scare. Until teams get word from doctors and that news gets leaked, we will not know the state of those knees.
Hopefully they are fine and the defensive issues came more from conditioning or not getting enough time in practice. But until the news comes, teams will be skeptical.
Could there be a silver lining for Giles among all of these struggles though? What if the injuries and concerns landed him on a team that wins games, has a winning culture and can mold him into a great player?
Most importantly, what if he’s on a team that basically discovered the idea of giving players rest to keep them healthy!? The San Antonio Spurs could very well be in a position to draft Giles this summer. And it might be a risk worth taking.
Part III: The Combination
It would be almost perfect for the Spurs to bring in a player like Giles just one year after Tim Duncan retired (perfect would have been that same summer). Giles has the potential to lead a defense from the rim like Duncan while dominating the post on offense.
It would take a lot of work and patience to get to that point. But what better team and coach to do it for than the San Antonio Spurs and Gregg Popovich? And you know Duncan would be hanging around the gym to help Giles out.
The former Blue Devil could pick Duncan’s brain on defensive schemes and post moves.
Aside from coaching, the Spurs are in a great position to be patient with Giles, while helping him improve year after year. With their own G-League team and the fact they are already in position to compete for the championship, they would not need Giles to play a large role right away.
Instead they could be sure he was healthy, get him in the gym to learn the system and let him get his minutes in Austin to work on his game and regain his confidence.
This is really a hand-in-glove fit when it comes to this year’s draft. Giles’s draft stock will come down to what the doctors say this summer. Should all go well and he’s back in lottery consideration, the Spurs may just have to cross him off their list.