What Harry Giles complicated contract situation would mean for Kings


What Harry Giles complicated contract situation would mean for Kings

The trouble with Harry.

Sacramento Kings play-by-play man Grant Napear made a proclamation during Wednesday’s broadcast that Harry Giles was targeting Tuesday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers for his return.

Napear wasn’t confirming that Giles will play. The only one that can do that is head coach Luke Walton, who has just recently gotten his hands on the 21-year-old big man after a summer that didn’t go as planned.

In the blink of an eye, Giles has gone from one of the young core pieces that the franchise hoped to build around, to a player without a contract for next season.

General manager Vlade Divac declined Giles’ fourth-year option on Oct. 31, which was a jarring move for almost everyone involved.

After spending a year rehabbing the talented 6-foot-10 center and then patiently working through his sophomore campaign that included 58 appearances, the Kings have basically walked away from the business of Harry Giles.

What went wrong is likely more complex than either side would like to admit.

Giles struggled to return from a quad contusion at the end of the season and it spilled into the summer. When the team reconvened for the California Classic and Las Vegas Summer League, Giles wasn’t ready to compete.

It was about this time that the Kings hit the free-agent market and landed both Dewayne Dedmon and Richaun Holmes to play the center position. These additions weren’t coincidental.

According to a league source, when Giles showed up to training camp not in the shape that the Kings expected and then struggled with pain in his left knee on the first day of camp, the team was forced to reconsider their future plans.

Giles has worked his way back. He has been practicing and then doing extra work with development coaches Rico Hines and Stacey Augmon, but he’s already missed all of camp and the first eight games of the season. He also gave away any shot of competing for a job under a new coaching staff.

Dedmon has struggled, but the team invested heavily in the veteran to play alongside Marvin Bagley as a stretch five. Holmes has moved ahead of Dedmon into the starting lineup, at least while Bagley is recovering from a broken thumb. He is an energizer and has instantly become a fan favorite.

Barring injuries, finding room for Giles in a crowded front line won’t be easy for Walton. Bagley is only a few weeks from a return and holdover Nemanja Bjelica has played extremely well for the Kings.  

According to multiple sources, the team hasn’t given up on Giles as a player or a person. They will continue to work on his development and health with the hopes that he can get back on the right track.

There may come a time when Giles finds his way back on the floor, but Divac wasn’t willing to risk nearly $4 million in salary for next season. If he is going to remain a King, he will have to “earn a contract for next season,” sources told NBC Sports California, as well as Jason Jones of The Athletic.

Unfortunately, the Kings’ decision opens up alternative options for Giles. By declining his fourth-year option, Giles is now an unrestricted free agent following the season and can sign with any team in the league. He can return to Sacramento, but the Kings are limited to a one-year, $4 million offer. Other teams in the league do not have the same restrictions.

If Giles is traded mid-season, any team that acquires him is also limited to the same one-year, $4 million offer, which reduces any value he may have on the trade market.

[RELATED: Giles helps engaged couple plan wedding]

Giles chose one path in the offseason and the Kings chose their own on Oct. 31. Neither of these paths likely lead in the same place. There is time for some reconciliation here, but the financials may get in the way come July 1 when free agency opens and the team no longer has any hold over Giles.

This is not the outcome that anyone envisioned when the Kings selected Giles with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Kings troll Boston Globe for mistakenly tweeting Celtics beat Sacramento

Kings troll Boston Globe for mistakenly tweeting Celtics beat Sacramento

Doug Christie and Grant Napear were on the edge of their seats. The Boston Globe was ready to press send. 

Football is a game of inches, and as the Celtics learned Sunday, basketball is a game of bounces. 

Marcus Smart's game-winning floater attempt hit the rim, rolled around and dropped off to give the Kings a wild 100-99 win at Golden 1 Center, snapping Boston's 10-game win streak.

We've all wished Twitter had an edit button, and the Globe certainly could have used one as the ball rattled off the rim. The Kings, of course, took notice. 

The Globe quickly corrected themselves, but this is the internet. Once you've pressed send, there's no going back. 

Really, though, this ending was pure chaos for a Kings win. 

A game of bounces, folks.

Kings blessed by 'basketball gods' in dramatic win against Celtics

Kings blessed by 'basketball gods' in dramatic win against Celtics

SACRAMENTO -- Front rim, backboard, front rim, front rim, front rim ... out.

An entire arena filled with fans went silent for what seemed to be 10 seconds as Marcus Smart’s runner in the lane sat on the front rim. If it rolled in, the collective sigh from almost 17,000 fans would have been heard all the way to Boston.

But that’s not what happened.

“Please roll out, please roll out, please roll out,” Richaun Holmes said. “And it finally did. But it seemed like forever.”

The Sacramento Kings stunned the Celtics Sunday afternoon, snapping Boston's 10-game win streak with a 100-99 victory. The win moved the Kings within two games of .500 on the season, but it wasn’t without drama.

“Finally the basketball gods, they were on our side,” Nemanja Bjelica said. “We think we deserve that the way we are breaking out and how much time we spend together. Winning is fun.”

The victory was a big one for the Kings who were coming off a controversial two-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday evening. It took a team effort from the Kings to pick up their fifth victory of the season.

Buddy Hield was a flamethrower from the perimeter, finishing with a season-high 35 points. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and added 10 assists. Bjelica finished with a double-double and when the game was on the line, Holmes came up huge.

A reserve to begin the season, Holmes is settling into the starting line-up for head coach Luke Walton. He scored a modest nine points, but two of those came in the final moments of the game and gave the Kings the lead.

With under 15 seconds remaining and the Celtics up one, Smart grabbed a rebound in the key off of a Kemba Walker miss. Smart went back up with it, but Holmes swiped at the shot attempt and then came away with the miss.

In the ensuing chaos, Smart wrapped up the Kings’ center trying to get a jump ball call. After review, Smart was assessed a foul and the Celtics were already in the penalty.

“Marcus Smart came in and got a ridiculous offensive rebound - he came flying in,” Holmes said. “I just tried to find the ball and make a play on it. Luckily we were able to get the rebound, able to get the foul, able to knock down two free throws.”

Holmes, a career 70.7 percent shooter from the free-throw line, stepped to the stripe with 13.3 seconds remaining and hit the pair that gave the Kings the 100-99.

Holmes played a crucial role in the final play as well. With 13.3 seconds remaining and trailing by one, Walker brought the ball up. He tried to shake Cory Joseph, but the Kings’ starting point guard forced him to give the ball up to Smart.

Smart burst down the lane, but Holmes flew in trying to block his shot and made the play more difficult.

“That’s my job, to try to protect the rim as much as possible,” Holmes said. “That ball hung on the rim for I don’t know how long. Luckily it bounced out and we were able to get the win.”

It was a tremendous effort from the 26-year-old big. His numbers might not jump off the page, but in the final moments, he protected the rim twice, grabbed the deciding rebound and iced the freebies from the line.

[RELATED: Kings take leap of faith betting on young core]

This was the first time at the NBA level that Holmes has been credited with the game-winning points that put his team ahead. The last time he had experienced anything like it was during his last year at Bowling Green when he hit a game-winning lay-up against Detroit Mercy.

After a brutal 0-5 start to the season, the Kings are now 5-2 over their last seven games. They’ll face the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, who are a surprising 7-4 on the season. The Suns play the Celtics on Monday night before facing the Kings on the second night of a back-to-back.