Harry Giles Will Make the NBA All-Rookie First Team
On a recent podcast with Bill Simmons, Jayson Tatum said that the only player better than him in high school was Harry Giles III. Coming out of the class of 2016, Giles was the consensus #1 player in the country and a destroyer of all things high school basketball and AAU. As a freshman at Duke in 2016 he played a very underwhelming 11 minutes a game in only 26 contests before being shelved with a knee injury.
The injury theme keeps coming up with Giles. A knee injury shelved him during his senior year of high school, limited his time at Duke, and kept him out of the entire 2017-18 NBA season. Based on talent alone, HG the 3rd would have been a top 5 pick in last year’s draft where he fell to #20. Essentially, Giles has missed most of the last three seasons of basketball.
Optimism stems from his play in the NBA Summer League where he showed a high basketball IQ and fluid athleticism. Giles plays with a defensive intensity that harkens back to a young Kevin Garnett, as evidenced by his tete-a-tete against DeAndre Ayton. He fights through picks, battles for position and hungrily contests shots. On defense, he barks out calls for his teammates and keeps his feet moving. The young Kings can definitely use this type of defensive leadership in the upcoming season.
My bold assertion is that Harry Giles III will make the NBA All-Rookie first team. He will play in 60+ games and average double digit points along with 7+ rebounds and gaudy blocks & steals stats. Don’t expect to see many high-scoring nights because a heavy scoring load is not his game at this point. Jumping out on shooters and contesting shots at the rim is how he makes a mark on the defensive +/- metric.
He can also cover for some of the anticipated defensive struggles of incoming rookie Marvin Bagley while teaming up as a new wrecking crew with De’Aaron Fox. Playing for a defensive minded coach in Dave Joerger, working hard on the less glamorous side of the floor will be how Giles earns his run in Sacramento this season.