Harry Giles’ knee issues continue to pile up.
Duke’s star freshman and a potential top five pick in the 2017 NBA Draft underwent an arthroscopy on his left knee on Monday. He’s expected to miss six weeks.
Duke’s season begins on Nov. 11th. They play Kansas in the Champions Class on Nov. 15th, which is six weeks and a day away.
“We’re very pleased with the outcome of today’s procedure,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “This is the right step for Harry at the moment as it will help him be 100 percent going forward. Harry has done a tremendous job in rehabilitation over the last year and I’m sure he’ll continue to do the same after this procedure.”
This is bad news for Giles, who has already torn the ACL in both of his knees. Prior to his sophomore year in high school, Giles tore the ACL, the MCL and the meniscus, the same knee that he had surgery on on Monday. Last November, in the opening game of his senior season in high school, Giles tore the ACL in his right knee.
And that is where this gets really interesting.
There was plenty of speculation last year that Giles would not play this season for Duke, that he would bank on the considerable hype and potential that he’s generated throughout his high school career — one longtime scout I trust told me that, when he was a freshman, Giles was the best prospect in all of basketball — and enter the draft after his one-and-done season.
With these latest knee issues, one has to wonder whether or not that is a real possibility. If his knees aren’t healthy, if he only has so many miles left on them, is it worth it to waste those games when he’s not getting paid millions of NBA dollars? And if he’s not healthy and he does play, will he hurt his draft stock as he wears off the rust of two knee surgeries in two years?
The good news for Duke is that they have plenty of front court depth to tide them over while they wait for Giles. Freshman Marques Bolden is a potential lottery pick in his own right while Amile Jefferson if a fifth-year senior that nearly averaged a double-double last season before injuring his foot. They’ll be the ACC favorite and the preseason No. 1 team in the country with or without Giles.
But there’s no question that having a talent like Giles limited — or not available — in March will be a blow.