NBA scouts are concerned about another knee surgery for Duke's Harry Giles
NBA scouts said they'd now have a hard time even considering Giles for the No. 1 overall pick
Harry Giles' third knee surgery since 2013 should prevent the Duke freshman from being seriously considered for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, multiple NBA scouts have told CBS Sports.
"It's a huge concern -- and I felt that way before this latest injury," said an NBA scout who spoke to CBS Sports on the condition of anonymity after Duke announced Giles will be sidelined another six weeks following Monday's arthroscopic surgery. "I don't think you can responsibly consider him for No. 1, and maybe not even the top five, now. There are too many other good players without the medical red flags."
Giles tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee in 2013 while competing for USA Basketball, then tore the ACL in his right knee last November during a high school game. The No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, according to 247Sports, had been rehabbing that right knee for the past 10 months but was never cleared for basketball activities. Now Monday's third surgery will push the 6-foot-11 forward's return back farther than anybody ever anticipated and probably have Giles sidelined when Duke opens Nov. 11 against Marist at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
CBS Sports spoke to five NBA scouts about Giles on Monday night, and three said they'd now have a hard time even considering Giles for the No. 1 overall pick. Their reasons varied, though. One said he just wouldn't want to use the top pick, or even a top-five pick, on somebody with two torn ACLs who clearly hasn't responded well to rehab over the past year, plain and simple. The other two said they might still consider Giles for No. 1 in a weak draft but not in this draft given that there are other elite prospects without medical red flags.
"If you can get [Duke freshman] Jayson Tatum with no red flags or [Washington freshman] Markelle Fultz with no red flags, it's just not worth it to risk things with Giles," one scout said. "All things equal, I might prefer Giles. But things aren't equal. And I'd hate to be the team to spend the top pick on somebody with these injuries in his past and then end up with a Greg Oden situation or a Joel Embiid situation."
The other two scouts CBS Sports contacted said their approach will be to first see if Giles returns and looks like the same type of player and athlete who once made analysts project him as a future No. 1 pick. If he doesn't, it's a non-starter. But if he does, they said, they'd then simply rely on the opinion of their doctors.
"It will all depend on what the docs say in terms of future risk," said one scout. "It's definitely a concern that will be given a deep dive into. But it'll still all depend on what the docs say."
Added another scout: "Totally depends on what the doctors say. If they say the knee looks good as new, then it'll be pretty much a non-issue. For example, [Magic forward] Aaron Gordon had ACL surgery in seventh grade. But the docs said it healed great, and no one was worried about it. ... But this is assuming Giles is the same player still. If, as a result of the injuries, he's not the same athlete that he was a year ago or two years ago then, yeah, it's gonna hurt his stock quite a bit."
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Saturday's UCLA vs. Notre Dame game 10,000 times.
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Saturday's Tennessee vs. Memphis game 10,000...
The No. 5 Wolverines will play host to the No. 10 Ducks on Saturday
Kansas, NC State, Oklahoma State and now USC have received a notice of allegations from the...
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Saturday's Syracuse vs. Georgetown game 10,000...
SportsLine's proven computer model simulated Saturday's Oregon vs. Michigan game 10,000 times.