Sacramento Kings Rookie Report: A Tale of Two Rookies

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 24: Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Sacramento Kings reacts to a dunk by teammate De'Aaron Fox #5 at Golden 1 Center on October 24, 2018 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 24: Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Sacramento Kings reacts to a dunk by teammate De'Aaron Fox #5 at Golden 1 Center on October 24, 2018 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

A new Sacramento Kings season is upon us. One rookie is off to a great start, the other not so much. Welcome to the 2018-19 edition of the Rookie Report!

After an extended absence (real life, as it often does, gets in the way), the Sacramento Kings Rookie Report is back!

First, a couple of changes. For one, you might recall that last season this was called the Rookie Roundup. Turns out that since the very beginning, I constantly kept writing “report” instead of “roundup” by accident.

For my own sanity, I tweaked the name just a bit. Second, as there are currently only two rookies playing actual minutes on the roster (as opposed to the four from last year), it seems silly to consistently rank them like last year. Therefore, a “winner” will no longer be declared week to week.

More from Kings News

Finally, if any other rookies start to play minutes on the team (such as two-way player Wenyen Gabriel), they will be added to that week’s report.

As always, the Rookie Report considers a week to be Sunday through Saturday. To play catch-up this edition will be considering games played between October 14th and October 27th.

To the Rookie Report!

Marvin Bagley III

First 6 games: 13.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 0.8 stls, 1.2 blks, 55.9% FG, 40.0% 3PT, 56.0% FT

Advanced stats: 18.5 PER, 58.6% TS, 15.2 TRB%, 6.6 AST%, 3.9 BLK%, 24.0 USG%, ORtg 106, DRtg 111

There was a lot of anxiety about Marvin Bagley being selected at number two by the Kings, not only amongst the Sacramento Kings fan base (myself included), but amongst the national media at large. Bagley’s first two weeks of the Kings season, however, has gone beyond perhaps even his biggest supporters’ expectations.

Bagley proved he can be a building block for this team by immediately contributing at a relatively high level. Of particular note, Bagley’s famous second jump has been a huge weapon for this squad on both ends of the floor.

On offense, it allows him to put back his own misses around the basket before his defender even realizes he missed the shot. On defense, his second jump coupled with his long wingspan has allowed him to be a shot-blocking force.

The most incredible part has been that he’s doing all this without even starting!  Bagley has only averaged 24.3 minutes a game thus far, good for seventh amongst all rookies this year, below every other player drafted in the top five. If not for Nemanja Bjelica playing above expectations, Bagley would likely be in the starting lineup by now.

So far, it appears Kings GM Vlade Divac has made the right choice for this team by sticking to his guns and taking Marvin Bagley near the top of the draft. The team is playing .500 ball as of this writing and things are good. Let’s enjoy the moment.

Harry Giles

First 6 games: 3.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.8 ast, 0.3 stls, 0.3 blks, 32.3% FG, 0% 3PT, 28.6% FT, 11.7 MPG

Advanced stats: -2.6 PER, 32.3% TS, 12.5 TRB%, 8.9 AST%, 2.3 BLK%, 26.0 USG%, ORtg 62, DRtg 112

Now the bad news.

Harry Giles was the story of the summer in Sacramento. After being red-shirted in the 2017-18 season, he shined during Summer League and showed a grit and determination during pre-season that Sacramento Kings fans hadn’t seen in a long time. He became such a good story that he even got a shout-out on Twitter by none other than Bill Simmons.

All of the above reasons are why it’s been so disappointing that he basically hasn’t shown up yet this NBA season. His raw numbers are bleak, and his advanced stats are even worse.

There are several reasons not to panic, however. One, it’s early. Two, he hasn’t played a large role as of yet, averaging only 11.7 minutes a game. Part of that is because the other bigs in front of him have been playing so much better. Three, putting Giles in a limited role may actually end up being a good thing for him in the long run.

Although Giles looked good in pre-season, his injury history is not to be taken lightly. Working him slowly into a full-time role isn’t the worst thing in the world, especially if he isn’t ready at the moment.

Sacramento Kings: Frank Mason III deserves more playing time. dark. Next

Overall, although Giles hasn’t had the start most of us were hoping for, there’s still a lot of time for him to become the player we’ve been hoping to see since the summer of 2017. Stay tuned.