Harry Giles

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.

De'Aaron Fox undergoes precautionary X-ray on back, out vs Portland

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De'Aaron Fox undergoes precautionary X-ray on back, out vs Portland

SACRAMENTO -- Rookie down. The Sacramento Kings fell to the Los Angeles Lakers by a final of 75-69 on Sunday, but that wasn’t the only bit of bad news. On a take to the hoop in the second quarter, rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox was knocked off-balance by big man Julius Randle and landed squarely on his backside.

Fox, 19, left the game momentarily. He returned to the Kings’ bench with ice strapped to his back, before making a brief appearance to end the half. After dunking over two Lakers in the waning moments of the second quarter, he walked to the locker room holding his back as the horn for intermission sounded.

According to the team, x-rays were negative and Fox has been diagnosed with a lower back bruise. He will sit out Monday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Golden 1 Center and is listed as day-to-day moving forward.

For tonight's game vs. Portland:

De'Aaron Fox (lower back contusion) -- OUT

Harry Giles (Bi lateral knee rehabilitation) -- OUT 

Kings' Giles to be held out of games until January

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Kings' Giles to be held out of games until January

Sacramento Kings fans have been waiting patiently for the debut of rookie big man Harry Giles. He trained through mini-camp leading up to Summer League and then sat. He’s spent the last few months in Sacramento preparing for the season, but when it came time for the preseason opener, Giles was listed as out.

Fans are going to have to wait a little longer. Friday afternoon, the Kings officially announced that Giles will not play until January at the earliest. He hasn’t faced a setback in his recovery from the two ACL tears he faced as a high school player, but the team has decided to side with science.

The gifted 6-foot-10, 240-pound North Carolina native is one of a select few players to come through the league with bilateral ACL tears. He tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee in 2013, right before his sophomore year in high school. In the opening game of his senior year of high school, he tore the ACL in his right knee and underwent a second operation.

Giles underwent a third procedure last October while at Duke. Physicians performed an arthroscopic cleanup of his left knee, which is common for patients with bilateral tears. He was limited to just 11.6 minutes over 26 games for the Blue Devils as they took a conservative approach to his recovery.

Sacramento knew of the issues when they selected him and the franchise has developed a plan for his future.

“It’s a plan that started over the summer of bringing him along slowly with the medical staff,” coach Dave Joerger said on the NBC Sports California Kings Insider Podcast. “Our staff is terrific and with his history, what he’s been through and what we’re able to do. Everyone wants to go as fast as they can, but when you look at the longer scope of his career and as a valuable asset of our organization what’s best for 10 years than what’s best for six months. I think the long-term view far outweighs the short-term view.””

According to the team, the medical and science community agree that an ACL injury takes a full two years of recovery time. January marks that date for Giles from his the second surgery. Sacramento will carefully monitor his progress, work to strengthen his core and legs over the next few months and then run tests on the 19-year-old’s knees after the new year.

Giles is still allowed to practice with the team, including contact, but in a controlled environment, where they can manage as many variables as possible. An NBA game removes the control settings that the coaches and training staff have put in place.

The goal is for Giles to have a long and healthy career and the team is going to take the necessary steps to insure that he is 100 percent healed before running him out for NBA game action.

“I’m feeling great,” Giles told NBC Sports California. “I have the same soreness everybody else has and it’s a great feeling. I’m just excited to be back out on the floor and just ready to get back to the grind.”

Both Giles and his agent took part in the discussion and are on board with the team’s treatment plan. The Kings are extremely high on Giles and love his potential, but they also want to do right by the player and not rush the process.

The team hasn’t given up on the 2017-18 season for the rookie power forward. They will use the time to develop him both physically and mentally so he is ready to contribute when the time comes. For now, they will use a cautious approach and hope that it pays dividends down the road.