The Sacramento Kings selected Harry Giles with the 20th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, a significant fall for a player who was considered among the top of his high school recruiting class. But Giles’ draft stock was hurt over uncertainty about his injury history. As a high school sophomore, Giles tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee. He later tore his right ACL as a high school senior. Giles then had another procedure to clean up his left knee in October of 2016.
The surgeries took their toll. Last year was a recovery year for Giles. He rehabbed as a member of the Duke Blue Devils, and one could hardly ask for a better place to recover. Duke didn’t try to rush Giles back to production. They focused on his strength and rehab. He averaged 11.5 minutes per game, and put up meager production, a little under 4 points and 4 rebounds per contest.
That’s not a player that earns a first round pick, even in the 20s. But then you go back and watch videos of Giles before the most recent round of surgeries, and you can’t help but fall in love with his potential.
The Kings reviewed Giles’ medical file before the draft, so fans are left hoping that the team doctors correctly assessed the available intel.
This is a question that may not be answered this season. The Kings seem content to bring Giles along slowly. He’ll spend a lot of time healing and recovering with the Reno Bighorns. Any production this season will simply be a pleasant surprise.