The Portland Trail Blazers are looking at some changes with Jusuf Nurkic suffering from a fractured wrist during Thursday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. With Nurkic looking at surgery and at least eight weeks of recovery time, that leaves Portland with a big question: what now? The Blazers have several players who can play center, but with Zach Collins prior surgery and Nurkic’s injury, the list is getting pretty short.
Portland has another big man in Enes Kanter. Coach Terry Stotts also mentioned meeting with General Manager, Neil Olshey to discuss the option of filling another roster spot. But there’s another possibility already on the roster: Harry Giles III.
Fans have been waiting for Giles to get more minutes, and it sounds like this might be his time. Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports reported that Dwight Jaynes spoke with Giles before Nurkic’s injury.
“I’m just waiting on my time and staying patient,” Giles told Dwight Jaynes. “It’s early in the season.”
Damian Lillard also seems to have confidence in Giles’ ability to step up.
“There’s going to be a huge opportunity for him and I think he’s prepared for it. Mentally, I think he’s a super confident young player. Every morning when I come into the facility, he’s on one of the baskets working on his game, sweating. I see him putting the time in, so I think a lot of players in the league - as the season goes on — it’s hard to sustain that level of work when you’re not getting the opportunity so I think it’s right on time for him.”
Giles came to Portland this season from Sacramento, and while he hasn’t played huge minutes thus far — averaging 7.9 minutes per game with 2.5 points and 3.1 rebounds — it looks like Rip City might be seeing a lot more of him going forward.