The SLC Dunk team is profiling all the prospects who could be in the neighborhood of where the Utah Jazz are drafting at pick #24. The four categories that we’re making our evaluations are Strengths, Weaknesses, Jazz DNA, and Fit.
School’s out, which means that the 2017 NBA Draft is just around the corner. The Utah Jazz finished the season with 51 wins.
It was a terrific thing for Jazz fans to see, but their playoff push also means a later draft pick. With the no. 24 pick, this is the latest selection the Jazz have had since 2007—not that Jazz fans are complaining. It means that the Utah Jazz are heading in the right direction and are getting closer to their destination.
One option the Jazz have is the promising Duke forward/center Harry Giles.
Despite having a quiet season at Duke, Giles has averaged 23 points, 16 rebounds, 1.8, and 2.1 blocks per 40 minutes over his career, according to Draft Express. These numbers hint at his ability to make an impact when on the court. Giles, who averaged just 13.5 points per 40 minutes while on the court at Duke, was a fairly limited in terms of offense. Nonetheless, while fighting his way back from injury, Giles showed that he has all the physical tools that would make a nice contribution to any NBA team.
Measuring just under 6’11 and weighing 222 lbs, Giles’s physical tools set him apart from other prospects. Giles has a tremendous 7’3 wingspan and a 9’1 standing reach. Most impressive, however, is his 32-inch vertical.
His offensive skills and overall basketball IQ are promising but unrefined. The Utah Jazz have plenty of experience developing young players similar to Giles. Just look at Rudy, a big lanky center who developed finesse to go along with his impressive physical tools.
Having only just turned 19 years old, Giles has been on the radar for years. He made his first appearance at a USA basketball camp at just 14 years old and quickly started to turn heads. Harry Giles was considered a top draft prospect before suffering a left knee injury while playing the FIBA America U16 Championship in 2013. He came back, showing that he has a tremendous ability to bounce back, and has since established himself as a viable option.
In 2015, Giles tore the ACL in his knee during the very first game of his senior year of high school. He sat out the whole season, which meant that many NBA teams lost sight of him. He underwent minor arthroscopic surgery in late 2016, which delayed the start of his collegiate career.
Assuming (and frantically hoping) the Jazz resign Gordon Hayward and George Hill, they’ll be set at small forward and point guard positions. And with Rudy Gobert locked in, the Jazz may want to look at possible back-up options. Derrick Favors can play backup center, but he’s more comfortable as power forward. Unproven Joel Bolomboy has the potential to follow Rudy off the bench. Jeff Withey may be an option, but there’s also the possibility he won’t be with team much longer.
With a number of centers expected to go in the top 25 selections, the 2017 NBA draft is full of talented big men who could help Rudy or Derrick off the bench. A late pick in the draft isn’t likely to make an immediate, dramatic impact on the team’s roster, so the Jazz will look at what talent is available at 24. And who knows. Rudy Gobert was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the no. 27 pick in 2013.
Due to the delayed start of his freshman season, as well as the fact that playing behind fifth year senior Amile Jefferson, Giles only played 300 minutes in total. The small sample size will affect how far he drops in the draft, and opens up the opportunity for a team like the Utah Jazz to steal him with a late selection.
The Utah Jazz should ...
DRAFT Harry Giles if he’s available at #24. But according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, Harry Giles is likely go to the team with the no. 14 pick provided he passes his physicals. He’s resilient and promising, but his injuries and limited experience make him a risky investment. If he’s still around at no. 24, Utah would be adding a great prospect. Giles would only help the Jazz as they continue in one direction—the right direction.