Detroit Pistons: the Big 5 candidates to play Center this year

Christian Wood #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Christian Wood #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons targets Christian Wood and Harry Giles
DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 22: Harry Giles III #20 of the Sacramento Kings and Christian Wood #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

No. 2: Harry Giles III

You can count on the Detroit Pistons going shopping for a center when the free agency period opens.

With, potentially, late pick-up Justin Patton, the only center on its roster and the draft thin at that position, the Pistons might even be looking to ink two post players in free agency.

There are some big names out there, like Tristan Thompson, Hassan Whiteside and Marc Gasol.

However, there probably is little interest on both ends for those veterans. They would be looking to be paid well and play for a contender. The Pistons are looking for young talent to build upon. Also, they just emerged from major salary cap problems and not looking to add big contracts for older players.

There is a free agent big who more than a few people think (or at least hope) the Pistons will bring in: Harry Giles III.

Related Story. The Detroit Pistons need to target Harry Giles in free agency. light

At one point, Giles was compared to LeBron James but that was before three knee injuries in high school and a year spent as a sub at Duke.

He is 6-foot-10 (7-3 wingspan), 240 pounds and has some sweet offensive moves. He is also a an above-average passer for a big man. Giles is not a great rim-protector, but  he has active hands and swipes the ball away from an opponent more than you would expect.

Based on his potential, the Sacramento Kings made a draft night trade with Portland for him, after he was selected at No. 20 pick in the 2017 draft.

Giles’ biggest opponent has been the injury bug. He sat out his entire rookie season due to the knee injuries and has played only a total of104 games for the Kings the past two seasons.

Then-Kings general manager  Vlade Divac, decided that saving some cap space was a better bet than guaranteeing another season with Giles. He declined his $4 million option for 2020-21 in October of last year. That makes Giles a free agent.

Divac also passed on Luka Doncic so take what you want from his evaluations.

Giles was not a bad player when he was healthy enough to take the court. He averaged 7.0 points a game and, Per 36 minutes, averaged 17.5 points, 10 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Giles is only 22-years-old, so he is hardly a lost cause. A change of scenery, and an injury free season, might be the best thing for a player who had so much early potential.

There will be plenty of other teams interested in Giles, but he is the type of player the Pistons cleared all that cap space to sign.