|Blazers work out Giles in advance of draft|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 04 June 2008 12:42|
Giles, who was kicked out of two college programs, worked out for the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, the first of eight workouts he's scheduled in advance of the NBA draft.
Blazers coach Nate McMillan has known Giles, an athletic 6-foot-10 forward, since he was a highly touted player at Rainier Beach High School. He believes Giles could have an NBA future.
``He has a lot of talent,'' McMillan said. ``Today he shot the ball well, and I think he can play in this league. It just depends on the team, the situation that they have.''
Giles never lived up to his potential in college, averaging 6.0 points and 4.8 rebounds in 44 games his first two seasons at Kansas. He was thrown off the team by coach Bill Self after several incidents, including academic issues, missed practices and a battery charge.
Giles resurfaced at Oregon State but played just 10 games before being removed from the team when Kevin Mouton took over as interim coach midway through the year.
``I am just fighting to show people who I really am and not what everyone speculates I am in the media and everything,'' Giles said after his workout. ``I'm just going to keep showing each and every day that I do have a great character and I am honest.''
Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard, who has known Giles since he was at Kansas, was blunt when assessing Giles' downside.
``He's got some troubles,'' Pritchard said. ``Is this a second chance? I'm not sure. We'll get him in this gym, talk to him, see how he's doing, see if he can make some strides in the right way. I'm not sure if we're prepared to make that move, but we wanted to get him in our gym.''
Giles worked out for the Blazers along with Giorgi Shermadini, a 7-foot-1 native of the Republic of Georgia who has been playing basketball for just three years.
Blazers coaches ran the two big men through shooting and one-on-one drills. Giles showed off a nice midrange jumper and athletic post game against the bigger, slower Shermadini. But he got winded quickly, which he attributed to nervousness and not to having played just 10 games in the past two years.
The Blazers have the No. 13 overall draft pick and three second-round picks. Pritchard acknowledged that Portland fans, sensitive to character issues, might not welcome someone with Giles' troubled past.
``What you're trying to figure out is what is he going to be moving forward, not what was he in the past,'' Pritchard said. ``Although (the past) does play a role in it - no question. But again, I have had a relationship with him. If I can help him in any way I want to help him.''
With another year of college eligibility, Giles thought about staying at Oregon State and petitioning new coach Craig Robinson for reinstatement. In the end he decided to try to make the jump to the NBA.
He has seven more workouts scheduled, beginning with the Washington Wizards on Thursday. He knows teams are going to have hard questions for him that have nothing to do with his basketball skills. Giles said he has thought about how he will respond to those questions.
``I made bad choices that led to me having a bad future, and that's one thing I learned,'' he said. ``The choices I make right now and how I am right now will determine my future. So I'll say, 'Yeah, I made mistakes, but I know now what I need to do and that will determine how my future is going to be.'''