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Harry Giles Boosts Rookie of the Year Odds with Strong Preseason Play

Sacramento Kings home arena.
Sacramento Kings fans are in for a treat this season thanks to promising big men Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley III. Photo by ray_explores (flickr) [CC License]
  • Sacramento big man Harry Giles has entered the NBA Rookie of the Year conversation with +3000 odds
  • Can the 20-year-old power forward stay healthy for a full season?
  • Is Giles a better value than more vaunted rookies like Luka Doncic or Deandre Ayton? 

Harry Giles didn’t walk across the stage at the 2018 NBA Draft, but he might still end up with Rookie of the Year honors.

The 20-year-old power forward has impressed bookmakers so much during his first two preseason games that he’s emerged with +3000 odds to win the 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year award.

2019 NBA Rookie of the Year Average Odds

Admittedly, you won’t find Giles among the top five in any sportsbook’s Rookie of the Year rankings, but the very fact that he has odds at all is an encouraging sign.

2019 NBA Rookie of the Year Odds at BetOnline

Player Team Draft Position BetOnline Odds on 10/04/18
Deandre Ayton Phoenix 1 +275
Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks 3 +350
Collin Sexton Cleveland Cavaliers 8 +600
Kevin Knox New York Knicks 9 +700
Trae Young Atlanta Hawks 5 +1000

Giles’ career was nearly derailed in high school when he tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee before his sophomore year. The Winston-Salem native suffered another devastating setback two years later when he tore his right MCL in the opening game of his senior season.

Giles still managed to secure a scholarship to Duke based upon his enormous potential, but his brief stay in Chapel Hill was once again fraught with injury and frustration as he sat out the first 11 games of his freshman season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

That’s a lot for a young player to endure, and Giles was understandably rusty upon his return, averaging just 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game against the considerably fresher and healthier competition he faced in the ACC.

Fortunately Giles’ natural gifts have always been undeniable, and the Portland Trail Blazers took a flyer on him in the 2017 NBA Draft, nabbing him with the 20th overall pick. The Kings acquired his rights later that evening and chose to redshirt Giles to give him the time he needed to recover from his injuries and acclimitize to the NBA.

NBA fans finally got to see Giles in an NBA setting in July at the NBA Summer League, and he didn’t disappoint, averaging 10.8 points, seven rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.

NBA fans finally got to see Giles in an NBA setting in July at the NBA Summer League, and he didn’t disappoint. The 6’10” power forward averaged 10.8 points, seven rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game, and showed the kind of athleticism and mobility that made him a top draft pick.

He’s since built upon that momentum in his first two preseason games, and is averaging 14 points, 6.5 rebounds, and three assists in 24 minutes per contest. Giles looked especially sharp against Phoenix, as he effortlessly got out in transition, hit a smooth three off a curl, and displayed superb chemistry with fellow big man Marvin Bagley III.

At +3000 Giles is still a longshot to win Rookie of the Year honors, but it’s worth noting that other players have won the award after sitting out their presumptive rookie season. Ben Simmons (2018) and Blake Griffin (2011) both captured the trophy after spending the first year of their professional careers on the sidelines. Joel Embiid also should have won the award in 2017, but was penalized by voters for appearing in just 31 games.

Hold off on betting heavily on Giles for now and enjoy the fact that he’s finally healthy and in a position to fulfil his tremendous potential.

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Ryan Murphy began his love affair with sports journalism at the age of nine when he wrote his first article about his little league baseball team. He has since authored his own column for Fox Sports, and now serves as SBD’s resident NBA and MLB expert.