With just a few weeks left until the start of training camp, the LA Clippers have filled their fifteenth roster spot by signing free agent center Harry Giles III to a non-guaranteed contract, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Giles, now age 23, was taken with the no. 20 overall pick back in 2017 by the Portland Trail Blazers before being traded to the Sacramento Kings on draft night in exchange for Zach Collins. Giles sat out his rookie season before playing in Sacramento for two years. He then signed with the Trail Blazers last season, averaging 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds through 38 appearances with Portland. Giles has struggled with injuries throughout his young career, but has shown flashes of versatility as a jump-shooter and rim-runner.
The Clippers were lacking a third center prior to signing Giles. Both Ivica Zubac (sprained MCL) and Serge Ibaka (back surgery) were unable to complete their seasons with the Clippers last year due to injuries, so it stands to reason that Giles might see playing time.
Giles joins Luke Kennard and new Clipper Justise Winslow as the third Duke alumnus on LA’s roster. Both Winslow and Giles can be viewed as reclamation projects for a Clippers team that has the luxury of experimenting with end-of-rotation players given their excellent depth. They will also be without their superstar, Kawhi Leonard, for a majority of the regular season, so there isn’t much pressure for LA to seriously contend for a title. It’s a great environment for Giles to get his career back on track should the Clippers choose to keep him around.