Barry Jackson

Heat to work out Duke power rotation player projected for its draft range

Why the Heat could draft North Carolina's Justin Jackson

The ACC Player of the Year had a workout with the Heat Thursday June 8, 2017 and is on Pat Riley's radar.
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The ACC Player of the Year had a workout with the Heat Thursday June 8, 2017 and is on Pat Riley's radar.

Duke’s Harry Giles, a polarizing power rotation player with a history of knee problems, will work out for the Heat before the June 22 NBA Draft, Giles told The Oregonian on Wednesday.

There is believed to be concern inside the Heat about Giles’ knees, which have been surgically repaired three times.

Nevertheless, Miami wants to take a look at him to determine how seriously to consider him if he’s available at 14.

Giles, 6-10, was rated as a five-star recruit and ranked the No.1 overall prospect in last year’s freshman class, according to ESPN. But knee problems have haunted him.

He had surgery on his left knee in 2013 after tearing ligaments and cartilage while playing for the United States in an age-group tournament in Uruguay.

He had another procedure after tearing a ligament in his right knee in a high school game in 2015.

The third knee operation was on his left knee last October.

Giles - who can play power forward and center - missed the first 11 games of 2016-17while recovering from that surgery, then averaged 3.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and just 11.5 minutes while playing in the next 26 games.

ESPN’s Chad Ford has Giles slipping to Portland at No. 15 - one spot after Miami - in his lastest mock draft and assesses him thusly:

“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 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,” Ford said.

“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 NBA scouts fell 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.

“Teams are still taking a wait-and-see attitude on Giles. He was very impressive in a pro-day workout in New York last week. He showed no real ill effects from his knee injuries. He was bouncy and active and reminded some scouts why they fell in love with him as the potential No. 1 pick before his latest knee injury.

“The key will be the medical results. Giles, like many of the other top prospects in the draft, didn't go through the combine medical testing and chose instead to do a private physical. Once teams get a look at those results, we'll have a better feel for whether No. 15 is too high or too low. But if feels like extraordinary value for the Blazers here.”

Giles told NBA.com last month that he understands it’s a risk to draft him.

“Definitely. Because of the injury. But at the same time, you’ve got to give somebody a chance.”

He said he loves now being a underdog of sorts.

“It kind of motivates you. You’re working out and in the game it kind of gives you a little edge. You kind of want to get at people a little more, kind of want to show them what’s up. Some people may have forgotten and sleep on you a little bit. But at the same time I just want to go out there and show them. Try to be the hunter.”

Giles told The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman that he already has worked out for Sacramento and Portland and will work out for Detroit, Chicago, the Heat and Indiana before the draft.

Per sources, the Heat is working out several players on Thursday, including North Carolina small forward Justin Jackson, who’s being considered with Miami’s pick at No. 14.

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