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NBA's Warriors have eye on Giles

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On one hand, the Golden State Warriors are set to evaluate former NBA first-round pick Harry Giles, a player who once commanded national attention but has since faced setbacks in his professional career. On the other hand, the Orlando Magic's recent donation to a political action committee supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has provoked reactions among the NBA Players Union, highlighting the intersection of sports, business and politics.

Warriors to evaluate Giles

Reports from SNY's Ian Begley suggest that the Warriors have scheduled a workout with none other than Giles. This triggers a flashback to 2016 when Giles commanded ESPN's highest ranking as the nation's top high school player.

Despite his early potential, Giles encountered injury setbacks, culminating in a modest 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game performance during his freshman year at Duke University. However, after just one collegiate season, he declared for the NBA Draft and emerged as a first-round selection, securing the 20th overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Giles' most recent NBA appearance dates back to the 2020-21 season, wearing the jersey of the Portland Trail Blazers. His contributions amounted to averages of 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.

Adding to the intrigue, Ian Begley reported Friday that Giles had already shown off his skills during a workout with the Orlando Magic, with plans to audition for the Warriors in the coming week. Additional coverage by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News revealed that the Brooklyn Nets have also scheduled a workout with Giles for Saturday.

Considering Giles' history as a potential star once touted in his high school days, along with his young age of 25, he remains an attractive prospect for a host of teams looking for reinforcements. With overall career performances spanning 5.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, Giles boasts a 51.1% field goal shooting success rate along with a 25.8% mark from beyond the three-point arc. Having appeared in 142 regular season games, it is worth noting that he has also made a lone appearance in an NBA playoff game.

Magic loses the magic

The union representing NBA players has expressed concern over a $50,000 contribution made by the Magic to a political action committee supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' 2024 presidential bid. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) stated Thursday that this financial support is concerning in light of recent posturing and legislation associated with Governor DeSantis.

Federal Election Commission data shows that Magic's contribution was to the Never Back Down super PAC. Super PACs have the ability to receive and allocate unlimited funds to promote a candidate, but are restricted from donating directly to them.

A Magic representative clarified that the donation occurred on May 19, just days before DeSantis made public his intentions to run for the Republican presidential nomination. Magic communications director Joel Glass emphasized that the donation was made as a local business supporting a Florida governor for the continued growth of Central Florida.

Governor DeSantis has recently implemented some controversial legislation, including restrictions on diversity and inclusion initiatives at public universities and abortion rights. Interestingly, the Magic has a sponsorship deal with Walt Disney World Resort, a company currently in a legal fight with DeSantis. This began after the former Disney CEO expressed his intention to challenge a law restricting discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.

The NBPA has affirmed the right of NBA owners, players and staff to express their political views, including through donations. However, they emphasized that if contributions are made on behalf of the entire team, governors must respect the differing beliefs and views of employees and players. Owned by the family of Betsy DeVos, former U.S. Secretary of Education under the Trump administration, the Magic's donation does not reflect the players' endorsement of the recipient, according to the union.

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