Duke freshman forward Harry Giles has announced that he will enter his name in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-10 Giles, who has undergone several knee procedures, is currently projected at No. 24 by DraftExpress.com.
“Not sure where he ends up,” one NBA executive said. “All depends on NBA medical staffs.”
Giles is the 11th Duke freshman to declare for the NBA Draft, days after teammate and close friend Jayson Tatum announced his intention to turn pro after one season in Durham. That duo joins a group that includes Corey Maggette (1999), Luol Deng (2004), Kyrie Irving (2011), Austin Rivers (2012), Jabari Parker (2014), Tyus Jones (2015), Jahlil Okafor (2015), Justise Winslow (2015) and Brandon Ingram (2016).
Each of the previous nine Duke freshmen in the draft was a first-round selection, including eight lottery picks.
“With his uplifting personality and love for the game, Harry Giles has been a joy to coach,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “He is only beginning to scratch the surface of how good he can be on the basketball court. Harry has an exciting NBA future ahead of him and we are here to fully support him as a member of our brotherhood.”
Giles played in 26 games for the Blue Devils, making six starts and being part of Duke’s first sub group in 10 games. He averaged 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting .577 from the field
“Playing in the NBA has been my goal for as long as I can remember, and I’m so excited to take the next step in that journey,” Giles said. “My time at Duke has been a dream come true. I’ve built so many strong relationships here and I have so many people to thank, from my teammates and coaches to our medical staff and strength coach. I can’t understate how proud I am to be part of the Duke Basketball program forever.”
The Winston-Salem, N.C., native had one double-double on the year – a 10-point, 12-rebound effort against Georgia Tech on Jan. 4 – and scored a season-high 12 points against Boston College on Jan. 7. He was integral in Duke’s historic four-day run to the ACC Tournament championship, where he posted six points, seven rebounds and four blocks in the win over sixth-ranked North Carolina in the semifinals.
Duke has produced at least one first-round NBA Draft pick in each of the last six years. Coach K has mentored 32 first-round picks, including a draft-record 21 lottery selections.