Significant players that will return?
Here are the significant players that I think will stay for next year:
- Harry Giles
- O.G. Anunoby
- Wenyen Gabriel
- Mikal Bridges
- Dikembe Dixson
- D.J. Hogg
If I were Giles, no way would I return. The last thing he needs is another major injury. He should capitalize on his sheer potential that's keeping him high enough this year, as well as the lack of elite big prospects. Right now he's probably a mid-first round option, if I'm a team, I'm definitely picking him top 20 (and maybe better), ahead of Rabb/J. Collins/Adebayo, all of whom provide zero spacing or rim protection.
He should learn from Rabb's mistakes and strike the iron while it's hot and go after the chance to get at least two guaranteed years in the pros. If he gets injured playing amateur basketball again, his career is over.
Harry Giles should declare. He can always go back to school if injuries derail his career, but as of now he's still a 1st round pick. He should go pro and just worry about continuing to rehab his knee. O.G. Anunoby is in a similar situation. Even with the injury, I think he's a 1st round pick, so he should go pro. While both players could possibly increase their draft stock by returning, I think it's a huge risk.
And I hate to say it like this, but school is a distraction if these kids are guaranteed 1st round picks. 1st round picks have guaranteed money for 2-4 years and can commit to their craft and rehab, instead of worrying about midterm and final exams. For players that do not have 1st round draft stock or players that did not pick their colleges with the NBA in mind, I fully support them returning to school and continuing to be a student athlete; however, if you want to be a professional basketball player and the opportunity is there, why wait and risk it? A guy like Malachi Richardson had a great NCAA tournament, got drafted 1st round, and is now on the bench for the Kings. He left when his stock was high and has a guaranteed contract. Had he stayed another year, he probably would have only lowered his draft stock into the 2nd round.
Sorry for the rant, but it's my humble opinion that the only guys with 1st round stock that should return to school to increase their draft stock are guys that will have an increased role the following year, so guys like Tony Bradley, Zach Collins, and Ike Anigbogu. I'm not sure if Giles qualifies for an increase role due to his injuries and the presence of Wendell Carter Jr. O.G. Anunoby, also, doesn't qualify here, because he already played a featured role on his team so scouts know exactly who he is. If he stayed another year, scouts would only find more holes in his game (a la Thomas Bryant).
No way Giles comes back. He is one knee injury from forced retirement and he should cash in now while he still has some draft stock left.
Anunoby should also come out since he is definitely first round material and his stock will not get any higher. The injury is not going to affect his draft status much.
Gabriel, Bridges, Dixon, and Hogg, will and should return to school.
It's always hard to know who will come back and who does declare. We see guys listed on this year's mock and think they may do better waiting another year but then we see Freshmen high on 2018 draft and wonder where they might go if they rolled the dice this year.
Often big men are longer term prospects and will still need work when they declare.
From the latest 2018 site mock - the highest listed freshman is Killian Tillie who I could understand possibly returning so he can bulk up more and he'd only be 20 if he declared in 2018, so he wouldn't be much older or only same age as a lot of top guys in that draft.
The next highest freshman is Jarrett Allen who whilst still a raw prospect has the sort of attention grabbing length and wingspan which could shoot him up the draft if he did a good combine and a GM took a shine to him. I'd say he's 50/50 whether he should declare this year.
Harry Giles I think should declare given his injury issues as if he did break down again, at least he'd have some security from an NBA contract. The draft from 10 to 25 looks very frontcourt heavy this year so a huge amount will depend on workouts and you could see guys going anywhere within that range. I would think that Giles should go within top 20.
If you're projected to be drafted in the first round you should always declare to leave early. The contract is guaranteed and you can just go back to finish your degree.
Is Harry Giles really guaranteed to go in the first round ?
Last year, Skal and Davis both dropped massively after both being projected late lotto picks. They were both drafted on "potential" and Skal was even number 1 or 2 ranked high schooler.
Skal and Davis were unproven, just like Giles, but Giles is actually unproven and injury prone which makes his situation even worse....
Duke's Frank Jackson is bit of a dark horse. He has played well lately and if he has a good tournament he could possibly declare for the draft.
I think he will probably stay athough it could be a 25% chance he does declare...
I think Jarrett Allen will be back.
Harry Giles Sr knows my aunt well and she told me he is just trying to get in the NBA so hes declaring. I would declare in fact if i was him i wouldve came out of high school but idk