Sacramento Kings: The intriguing mystery of Harry Giles

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images /

The Sacramento Kings are loaded with potential, especially after assembling as big of a foundation as they have through the draft and via trades. However, the one player who has plenty of uncertainty surrounding him is rookie Harry Giles.

It’s safe to say that the Sacramento Kings covered all of their bases in this year’s draft.

They got a potential star player that they highly regarded throughout the pre-draft process in De’Aaron Fox, and prospects who hold solid role player potential in Justin Jackson and Frank Mason III.

The one wild card in all of this from the four players they took in the draft stands to be Harry Giles, who the team acquired with the 20th overall pick in a draft-day trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Despite just making the jump to the NBA this summer, Giles should be a name that all dedicated NBA fans have heard of over the years. After all, Giles was an incredibly revered prospect coming up through the ranks during his days in high school as well as the amateur circuit.

But it’s been quite some time since we’ve seen the kind of player Giles projected to be, the one who was once thought of as one of top talents in his class.

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Two torn ACLs and further complications with both of his knees have heavily impacted Giles’ development as a player, both in high school and during his lone season at Duke last year.

As a result, the Giles many saw while with the Blue Devils was one that was trying to work his way back up to speed. When he saw the court, that is.

In 26 appearances last year, six of them being starts, Giles averaged 3.9 points on 57.7 percent shooting from the field and 3.8 rebounds in just 11.4 minutes per game.

That careful and cautious approach has carried over in Giles’ move to Sacramento, even in the first few months of his tenure, as the North Carolina native was sidelined during this year’s NBA Summer League.

According to the New York Times‘ Marc Stein, that recovery process will keep him sidelined until at least January of his rookie season:

So while Kings fans are starting to get their first glimpses of the many building blocks the team has procured recently, Giles remains the one young player for the Kings that shouldn’t be held to any expectations on the court heading into his rookie season.

It’s hard to see that changing at any point during the year, even with the possibility that the 19-year-old could spend most of his time recovering first, and then developing as a member of the Reno Bighorns, the team’s G League affiliate.

With the team already facing multiple logjams for minutes between their young prospects and experienced veterans, plying his trade in the G League once he’s healthy provides the right type of environment for Giles to make up for lost time and accrue experience, at least for this year.

The question of whether Giles could ever realize and hopefully unlock his unique potential is one that Kings fans should put on the back-burner for the time being. Plenty of work still lies ahead for Giles to work his way back up to the player he could be, much less build himself up to the speed, athleticism and physicality on the NBA level.

Next: 10 bold predictions for 2017-18 NBA season

How Giles responds to his new life as a professional NBA player will be something to keep an eye on, no matter if he ultimately can contribute on the court at any point during the season.