Harry Giles

Kings shut down first-round pick Harry Giles

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USATSI

Kings shut down first-round pick Harry Giles

SACRAMENTO -- The mystery of Harry Giles has been solved. The Sacramento Kings officially made their decision known Thursday morning that they will redshirt the talented rookie out of Duke University, sitting him out the remaining 38 games of the season. 

It’s probably been the plan all along. Sacramento spent the 20th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft on the 19-year-old, after a full medical review of his previous knee issues. They’ve relied heavily on the medical and science field to come up with an appropriate plan of treatment and chosen a smart, measured approach to his rehabilitation.

Giles is one of six players in the history of the league to attempt to play after tearing his ACL in both knees. The team understood the risks of selecting him coming into the draft and they are hoping their cautious approach will hopefully pay dividends over the course of a long career for Giles.

After consulting multiple experts on bilateral knee injuries, the Kings made the early decision to wait a full year from the date of Giles’ last ACL surgery before allowing him to see unrestricted court time. That date has passed, but without a conventional training camp, Sacramento has chosen to err on the side of caution and prepare Giles for a healthy offseason program and Las Vegas Summer League appearance. 

Earlier this month, the team sent Giles, along with assistant general manager Brandon Williams, to P3 for biometrical and neuromuscular evaluations. According to the team, those tests proved overwhelmingly successful. 

Not only are Giles’ ACLs 100 percent healed, but the the 6-foot-10 forward is showing major signs of improvement in agility, strength and athleticism. According to P3’s testing, Giles is no longer considered an injured player and the team has cleared him for normal duty. 

The former top high school prospect has also added a few pounds of muscle, weighing in at 249 pounds, up from 222 that he was listed at during pre-draft. 

Giles will continue to practice with the team, and in addition, the training and medical staff will work to strengthen his core and leg muscles while keeping close tabs on his progress. 

Sacramento will spend the upcoming months preparing Giles both physically and mentally for the 2018-19 campaign, where they will likely add another lottery selection. He hasn’t had a single setback since joining the club and they would like to continue to build for the future. 

The tests show Giles is an elite athlete. If he can stay healthy and get back to the player arc he showed as a prep athlete, the Kings may have found another piece to the puzzle. They are going to give him every opportunity to get right physically before putting him on an NBA court. 

Garrett Temple jumps into Sacramento community with both feet

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James Ham

Garrett Temple jumps into Sacramento community with both feet

SACRAMENTO -- Changing the culture of an NBA team is no small task. It takes dedication and a series of right moves. Over the past few seasons, the Sacramento Kings have actively sought out players with a history of leadership behind the scenes. They’ve had some hits and a miss or two, but the addition of Garrett Temple was nothing short of a home run.

The veteran wing stood in front of a crowd of student athletes at Sacramento Charter High School on Wednesday evening. He wasn’t there to talk about sports, although the topic came up more than once. He was there to adopt the school, to become a mentor and in some instances, a financial backer for the charter school. 

“We’re going to focus on leadership and how they can be better leaders on their team, in their communities and in their classrooms,” Temple said before taking his place in front of a room of approximately 250 students. 

Temple didn’t have a program like this growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In fact, he didn’t have a lot of the same issues that face the students at a school like Sac High. 

“I came up, I wasn’t poor, I wasn’t underprivileged, I was good,” Temple said. “But basically everyone of my teammates that I played with in AAU came from a less fortunate situation.”

He had active parents, including his father Collis, a former NBA player, who acted as a coach and mentor for other students in the community. Collis Temple became the first African American basketball player at LSU and his personal story of triumph is something that his son Garrett uses as a guiding light. 

“Guys looked up to coaches that they had, like my father was a coach throughout the community,” Temple added. “That safe haven on the basketball court, that one gym that was in the community, going there for practices. If you had a guy that was around that had been through it and could talk to you about some of the things in life that you would face, that’s all we had to for guys that didn’t have a father figure.”

Temple held a townhall style meeting with the students, fielding questions about a wide range of topics. The conversation was off the record, but there were plenty of good moments where Temple shared from his personal experiences. 

In his first season with the Kings, Temple was named Teammate of the Year. Not only has he performed well on the court, but his mentorship behind the scenes goes well beyond the court. 

On Wednesday evening, the eight-year NBA veteran brought along rookies Frank Mason III and Harry Giles. The two served food and then sat with the students as Temple spoke. Following the conversation, the students swarmed the three players to shake hands and snap pictures. 

The Kings’ starting small forward has committed himself as a mentor to Sacramento High for this season and plans on having a few more events with the students during the school year. His hope is to promote education and leadership, not act as an athletic advisor. 

“Just trying to reach kids in there place and try and build a rapport with them so we can try to create more leaders in situations like they are right now,” Temple said.

Temple is in year two of his three-year deal he signed with the Kings. He has a player option for next season, but Sacramento would love to make the 31-year-old a long-term fixture with the franchise. 

He isn’t the only player jumping into the community. Point guard George Hill has an event coming up in the coming weeks, as does Vince Carter. The veteran core of the team is establishing a path for the team’s 10 young players to follow both on and off the court as they grow through their NBA careers. 

Kings rookie Harry Giles can find motivation in Joel Embiid's monster deal

Kings rookie Harry Giles can find motivation in Joel Embiid's monster deal

SACRAMENTO -- Pregame locker room buzz centered around Joel Embiid and the mega-deal he inked Monday in Philly. After just 31 games played over three years, the 76ers paid their 23-year-old center a whopping $148 million over five years.

Embiid’s talent has never been in question. Taken with the third overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, the 7-footer out of Kansas can do it all. In his limited action, he’s posted 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 blocks in just 25.4 minutes per night.

But a series of injuries, beginning with a stress fracture in his lower back during his lone season with the Jayhawks has put his career in a holding pattern. While going through the draft process, Embiid broke his right foot and needed a second surgery on the same foot a year later when the break didn’t heal.

He was the odds on favorite to win the Rookie of the Year trophy last season before a knee injury shut him down in late January. Back, foot and knee ailments are the big man trifecta, but still, the Sixers are banking on his tremendous potential.

Sacramento has a rookie that is watching the Embiid situation closely from afar. Despite going through warmups with the team on Monday night and being healthy enough to make it through training camp, 19-year-old Harry Giles won’t suit up in a game for the Kings until January at the earliest.

“Congrats to him, he’s an amazing player and he deserves every bit of it,” Giles said of Embiid. “For a guy who’s been through injury like myself and understand how hard it is to bounce back and have the performances he’s had is incredible.”

Giles has a unique perspective. He was the no. 1 high school player in the country and on his way to superstardom when a series of knee injuries hit. First, an ACL and MCL tear in his left knee between his freshman and sophomore season put him on the shelf. One game into his senior year, he tore the ACL in his left knee and before his freshman year at Duke, he underwent a scope on the left knee to clean it up.

Embiid’s path isn’t one that anyone would choose, but the outcome is encouraging for a young player like Giles.

“For me, how can I not be motivated,” Giles said. “I’m in the same kind of position as him in a way, coming off of injuries and kind of having a slow and having to be patient and thinking long-term.”

With plenty of time to watch for the bench, Giles is working with the Kings’ medical and training staff to build strength in his core and legs. They will re-examine his knees in January, which is the two-year mark from his second ACL injury.

“I’m going in, just working hard to just develop myself the best I can - my body and my game,” Giles said.

While the trainers are doing their work, the coaching staff will attempt to build his knowledge and understanding of the game. He will participate in practices, where the club can control as many variables as possible and there is hope that he will see court time before the season is done.

For now, Giles will have plenty of time on his hands to think about his path forward. He see’s the value in the Kings’ cautious approach and looks forward to proving himself the same way that Embiid has.