The Oklahoma City Thunder have a very important NBA Draft ahead of them, while trying to find the right pieces to place around Russell Westbrook. Though the Thunder did make the playoffs as the six-seed in the Western Conference, they should not settle. They have one of the best point guards in the NBA and it is time the team finds some talent to go along with him. With the 21st pick in the first-round, Harry Giles, out of Duke, could be a steal for the Thunder.
Giles was the No. 1 recruit in the country coming out of high school, but because of a nagging knee injury, the freshman was unable to play a lot of minutes. He showed quite some potential while on the floor for the Blue Devils, showing an elite ability to score and rebound. He didn’t just impress me on the offensive end, in the ACC tournament, Giles showed the strength to play terrific defense in the paint, even against some of the most talented players in the country.
He has some impressive career stats, including high-school and his freshman campaign at Duke, as he averaged 23 points, 16 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.1 blocks per 40 minutes on the floor. As the numbers indicate, Giles is a lethal two-way player that any team would be lucky to have.
While we know that the talent is there for Giles, the ability to stay on the court has not. In 2013, Giles tore his ACL, MCL and Meniscus in his left knee at the FIBA Americas U-16 Championship. While he came back strong from the injury, Giles then tore his ACL once again in his senior season in high school. Giles then had another surgery on his knee that was more minor than the others in late 2016, which delayed the start of his freshman season at Duke.
The Thunder are in desperate need of talent to go along with Westbrook and Giles could be exactly what the team needs. He has the potential to be a potent two-way player in the NBA and if the team in fortunate to have the opportunity to choose him with the 21st pick in the first round, they should make it happen. The only question is whether Giles will be available at that point in the draft. This year’s NBA Draft will be very important in seeing the direction that the Thunder will be heading in the future.