Portland has had as strong an offseason as any team. GM Neil Olshey filled the biggest holes on the roster — wing play and defense — by adding Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr., bringing back Rodney Hood, and keeping Carmelo Anthony for depth. Enes Kanter makes a solid backup center as well.
Now Portland GM Olshey made another smart move, taking a flier on a one-year contract for Harry Giles, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. This is a one-year contract for the league minimum.
At this price, it’s a good flier by the Trail Blazers.
Giles was the top prep player of his class until a series of knee injuries set him back (he has never gotten all of his explosiveness or fluidity back). Back in 2017, then Sacramento GM Vlade Divac rolled the dice on Giles, picking him No. 20. The Kings sat Giles an entire season to get him fully healthy and stronger, then in 2018-19 he played 58 games and showed flashes. He’s a gifted passer as a big man, he has some skills, but he’s not strong enough or explosive enough to dominate around the rim, and doesn’t have the shooting range to score away from the paint consistently. He also picks up far too many fouls.
Still, Giles is just 22, plays hard, and shows some potential. Divac decided not to pick up Giles’ fourth-year option — his conditioning was an issue — and that basically ensured he would be moving on.
Portland stepped in and is giving Giles a chance. Portland doesn’t need him to play a role; Giles will have to earn his minutes. But it’s worth the contract and roster spot to see if he can. It’s on Giles now.