Draft Projection: Lottery Pick
Positives: Insider Only
Negatives: Insider Only
Summary: May 23 update: Giles showed up at the combine and did the athletic testing, interviews and medicals. The medical evaluations (which teams haven't received yet) will be key.
If he's cleared, he has a great shot at the lottery. If he's red or yellow flagged, he could fall a few spots, depending on what the doctors say. But based on pure talent, he remains one of the top prospects in this draft.
May 8 update: Don't expect Giles to participate in any basketball drills at the combine, but teams are really interested in getting his medical information and interviewing him.
Some teams worry that there might be more problems with his knees. Others worry that he's struggling with the mental aspect of overcoming two ACL tears.
If he can prove that he's healthy and regain his confidence, he's a steal in this draft anywhere outside the top 10. Given good health, he has more raw talent than any other player in this class.
April 12 update: Teams still aren't sure where to put Giles. Once their doctors get a look at his medicals, we'll have a clearer picture.
If they think he's healthy, he'll be a likely lottery pick. Many scouts still believe he's one of the best two or three prospects in the draft.
If the medical reports are sketchy, he could slide into the mid-to-late first round.
April 4 update: The Nuggets have done as good a job as any team in finding gems in the draft. Giles could be another.
Based on sheer talent, he's one of the three best players in the draft. His slow recovery from an ACL tear in high school -- as well as another knee surgery last fall -- hampered his play for Duke. But if he checks out medically, Giles has a chance to be a monster player in a few years and would be a terrific fit on the front line next to Nikola Jokic.
March 28 update: Giles has declared for the 2017 NBA Draft. Based on sheer talent, Giles is one of the two or three best prospects in the draft. But his injury history is daunting. He tore his ACL, MCL and cartilage in his left knee early in his high school career, and then the ACL in his right knee in 2015. After a year-plus of rehab, he had surgery in October -- an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee -- and missed the first 11 games of his career with Duke. When he did get on the court, he looked rusty and tentative. While wearing a knee brace, he had limited explosion and mobility and he rarely looked like the Giles who NBA scouts feel in love with after his junior year of high school. He had his moments at Duke, but overall his progress on the court was a disappointment. The question now is where to draft him. If his knees check out at the combine, NBA scouts believe he'll likely go in the late lottery. If there are bigger or long-term injury concerns, he could slide into the late first round.
March 20 update: During the ACC tournament, it appeared Giles was going to break out of his season-long slumber and be a major factor for the Blue Devils in March. Unfortunately for Duke fans, it didn't happen. He played a total of 15 minutes in two games, took only one shot, grabbed four boards and had one block.
NBA GMs still insist that if his knees check out at the combine then he's a lottery pick, but he sure didn't look like it in the tournament. If he decides to return to Duke for his sophomore year? Scouts say to put him in the top five of the 2018 Big Board.
March 14 update: Giles is completely an upside pick right now. He was the consensus best player in high school basketball before tearing his ACL for a second time at the start of his senior season. After another knee procedure this fall, he's slowly rounding back into form for Duke at just the right time.
He had a solid ACC tournament, especially in the big game against North Carolina where he put up six points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 15 big minutes for the Blue Devils. When he plays like that you can see why some scouts say there's no way he gets out of the lottery as long as his knee checks out OK. A big NCAA tournament could push him way up the board, fast. There's no one in this draft with more upside than a healthy Giles.
March 6 update: NBA scouts aren't sure what to do with Giles at this point. He plays sporadic minutes for Duke, shows flashes of his old self but is still largely ineffective when he's on the court. He still has the motor that intrigued coming into the season, but his explosiveness and feel just aren't there yet.
Everything on paper screams that Giles needs another year at Duke to really reach his potential. But NBA teams are also aware of just how much potential he has and a number of them told me they'd be willing to gamble on him if he falls outside the top 10.
Feb. 1 update: It's still nearly impossible to place Giles on this list. He's 11 games into his college career and has played 15 minutes or more in only four of those games. Scouts believe they haven't seen the real Giles yet and may not at all this season.
Based on what they saw from him in high school and his limited playing time at Duke, Giles still has a lot of fans among NBA front offices. If he really gets it going in February or March and tests out OK with his physical at the draft combine, he could easily be back in the top five.
Dec. 22 update: After missing the first 11 games of the year (on top of his entire senior season) due to a knee injury, Giles finally got some game action this week. He played just four minutes and didn't record any points or rebounds against Tennessee State on Monday and put up just one point and two boards in six minutes against Elon on Wednesday.
No one is panicking, though. The fact that he was out there was encouraging to scouts.
Based on talent, he's as good as or better than anyone else on this board. However, two major knee surgeries -- on top of the more minor procedure that delayed his start at Duke -- loom pretty large right now.
He's going to have to get back to full strength if he's going to make a run at the No. 1 pick.
Nov 9 Update: Giles would've likely begun the season as the No. 1 prospect in the draft if not for a series of injuries that have given NBA scouts pause. He tore his ACL, MCL and cartilage in his left knee early in his high school career, and then the ACL in his right knee in 2015. After a year-plus of rehab, he had surgery in October -- an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee.
Assuming he recovers as expected, he should be ready to play this month, or in December if he and Duke are more cautious. Coach Mike Krzyzewski is likely to be looking out for Giles' long-term interests.
Injury concerns aside, Giles is one of the most athletic and skilled big men prospects you'll see. There are very few holes in Giles' game, whether physically or mentally. He's an NBA scout's dream.
But the injuries are likely to concern any team. If he doesn't show he has recovered his full explosiveness over the next several months, he could slide down a few more spots on our board, based on teams' assessments.
"He's almost the perfect basketball player when you think about modern NBA bigs," one NBA scout said. "If he can stay healthy, he'll have a chance at becoming a superstar.
"But the knees will have all of us wringing our hands when it's June 22 and we are on the clock. You see what Joel Embiid [post-injury] is doing right now and it gives you courage that maybe you should take that risk. He's that sort of talent."
Aug 23 Update: If the Celtics pick No. 2, Giles would be a very strong candidate. He was the consensus No. 1 player in his class before he tore his ACL prior to his senior season. If he's back to his explosive self as a freshman at Duke, he's a steal at No. 2. Think the next Chris Webber.
Aug 4 Update: Were it not for two torn ACLs (one during his sophomore year and one to start his senior year), Giles would be the hands-down consensus No. 1 pick right now. He's blessed with the rare combination of both elite physical tools and basketball skills. He ticks every single box an NBA scout would look for in a modern power forward.
If those knees are 100 percent and Giles can still show off the same level of athleticism he did in high school, then he could easily end up as the top pick in 2017. However, until scouts see him prove that on the court, there's a certain level of skepticism factored into this ranking.
Apr 10 Update: Giles is the top-ranked player according to our recruiting experts. He would likely have taken the No. 1 spot on this board had he not partially torn the ACL in his left knee last summer. It's his second knee injury in the past two years -- he tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus in his right knee in the summer of 2013 -- and that's what worries scouts right now. Everything else is a wow.
He has elite size and length, is an explosive athlete, plays in attack mode on both ends and just has a great feel for the game. He rebounds, blocks shots and defends in the paint and on the perimeter. He needs to get stronger and to develop more of a face-the-basket game, but we're nitpicking here.
If he recovers fully from his injury and has a huge season at Duke, he'll be strongly in the mix for the No. 1 pick. But until scouts see him healthy, it's hard to project him there for right now.