Weight: 232 pounds
Because of his injury history, Harry Giles is a tough prospect to judge, but at one time he was clearly the top prospect in his class, clearly ahead of the likes of Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson.
The positives start with Giles’ physical profile. He has the height and length to play the center position as well as a solid frame that should be able to easily add strength. He is also an outstanding athlete with great quickness who can run the floor end-to-end.
He is a high motor player which shows itself in numerous ways. Giles has the potential to be an outstanding defender. He has the size and length to protect the rim, as well as the lateral quickness to switch out on the perimeter and contain guards, a major key for bigs coming into the league.
Offensively he has proven himself to be an excellent finisher in the paint, both in the half court and in transition. He got plenty of baskets just out of beating his man down the court. He also was good as a rim runner out of the pick-and-roll.
Giles’ best trait coming out of college, however, is his ability as a rebounder. He has great instincts finding the ball off the rim. Combined with his length, athleticism, and excellent motor it allows him to be a major factor on the glass, especially on the offensive end.
The obvious major concern with Giles is his injury history and how much it has affected his athleticism and quickness. Giles tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus in his left knee in 2013, and then tore his ACL in his right knee in 2015, his senior year of high school.
Not only did this potentially sap Giles of the athleticism and quickness that made him the top prospect in the 2016 high school class, but it also robbed him of crucial development time. Instead of being able to improve his game, Giles was rehabbing his knees.
Because of this, Giles’ offensive game is extremely basic right now. He has poor footwork, and his post moves are undeveloped at this time. He seemed to lack confidence in his offensive game during his lone season at Duke, struggling mightily on that end of the floor.
Defensively, while Giles has shown flashes of potential, he struggles with timing and positioning. He struggles with off-the-ball help defense, and he can be pushed around as he still needs to add strength to his frame.
Player Comparison: Marcus Camby
Giles is a very difficult player to compare because it is impossible to know just how much of his explosiveness he can get back. If he can return to pre-injury levels, he projects as someone like an Amare Stoudemire. If he can’t however, and his offensive game never quite develops he could still have an impact like a Marcus Camby.
Like Giles, Camby was a top prospect who had injuries rob him of his quickness and athleticism. Camby was able to overcome that, however, by focusing on defense and through his great length and skills became one of the league’s top defenders.
Giles has the same potential as a finisher, defender, and rebounder. He should be able to protect the rim and switch out on the perimeter on that end of the floor and control the glass regularly. Giles has the potential for much more if he can overcome the injuries and develop offensively, but even if he doesn’t the possibility of a great career is there.
Fit with the Lakers
First and foremost the Lakers need talent on the roster and should Giles be available at No. 28, Giles would almost surely represent the highest upside of any player left on the board. He has extreme talent and potential because of his physical tools and high motor, but he is a major risk as well.
At that point in the draft, however, it can be worth it to take that risk, and the Lakers could use a high-upside defender and rebounder with the potential to turn into a devastating finisher on the offensive end as well.
Giles may take some time to develop into the player many hope he can become, but the Lakers have capable bigs on the roster right now as well and could afford to wait. The Lakers need to add defenders, and Giles fits the bill in that regard.