Potential 2017 Brooklyn pick Harry Giles has a knee operation - again

Potential top-three picks Harry Giles (center), Jason Tatum (left), and Josh Jackson (right)
With great risk comes great reward - or not-so-great disaster. It may be a little bit early for most of us to be thinking about the draft, but Boston’s 2017 selection is likely a top-5 pick in one of the more loaded drafts in recent memory, with the potential to deliver a franchise player. For the folks who track the college and international ranks for talent with an eye to the order of the next year’s NBA draft, however, the clock starts ticking when the 60th pick is selected, and you can be sure they are aware all is not well with consensus 2017 top three pick Harry Giles.

Giles has the potential to be a generational player, ranked as high as the number one pick by Sports Illustrated, though several popular mocks have him falling as low as third, with NBAdraft.net, ESPN's Chad Ford, and Sports Illustrated all projecting the Brooklyn Nets pick being used to select Giles between third and first in the 2017 draft. For those of you who have been lost on a desert island for the past several years, that means he’d be playing for Boston, who have swap rights with the likely cellar-dweller Nets.

Great!”, you say - or maybe you don’t - you see, Giles had fallen from first to second or third (if not lower) in several mocks because of that risk factor we started out talking about. Giles had had not one, but two torn ACLs before he ever set foot on a court with the Duke Blue Devils, causing his stock to drop. Fast forward to yesterday, October third: Duke announces Giles has undergone his third operation in three years, a successful arthroscopic procedure that will have him sidelined for six or so weeks.

For Giles, this means a careful assessment of how his rehabilitation and subsequent performance may affect his draft stock is in order. Slipping too far could cost Giles six or even seven figures in guaranteed money, and rushing back to the floor (or playing at all this season) could potentially threaten not only his draft stock, but also his athletic potential and even career. Duke is in the enviable position of having a five star option in Marques Bolden to take his minutes, but with a preseason ranking of number one, it’s looking like the needs of the school and the prospect may be at odds. Of course, Coach Mike Krzyzewski and staff will do right by the recruit, but “right” may mean a redshirt season or limited playing time for the likely one-and-done prospect, making assessment difficult or even impossible.

Draft night is still a long way off, and plenty can happen between now and then, but this should be on the radar of the Celtics front office and their fans. It’s possible Giles recovers well and puts these fears to rest - or that Brooklyn exceeds expectations, ending up in the mid- to late lottery, making a gamble worth taking if experts are comfortable with the situation. Whatever happens, let’s hope Harry Giles recovers - no matter where he ends up, we all want to see that kind of potential unlocked, preferably in green.

Should Boston roll the dice if Giles is available come draft night? Let us know in the comment section below.

Photo via Sam Forencich/www.foxsports.com
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