Can Harry Giles become what the Sacramento Kings are hoping?

Sacramento Kings forward Harry Giles III (20) reacts after a score against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings forward Harry Giles III (20) reacts after a score against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images) /

Coming off an underwhelming rookie season, Harry Giles showed flashes of top-level talent, but can he become what the Sacramento Kings are hoping?

Since the 2017 NBA Draft, many Sacramento Kings fans have been optimistic about what Harry Giles can become.

But, at the beginning of the 2018-19 season, Harry Giles struggled, fouling too often and was far too turnover prone. Late in the season, however, he started to get comfortable, showing Sacramento Kings fans the potential and the hype surrounding him.

The first of which, came on November 12th against the Spurs when he posted 12 points and six rebounds in 15 minutes. That game, came after a 30-point performance in the G-League with the Stockton Kings.

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Giles Early History

In his first NBA season after a red-shirt year, Giles averaged seven points and 3.8 rebounds per game on 50% shooting in 58 games.

These are typical average, rookie-type numbers that Sacramento Kings fans can expect to increase next season. Somewhat disconcertingly though, Giles has a rough history with injuries, having suffered an ACL, MCL and Meniscus tear in his left knee his freshman year in high school, and suffered another ACL injury in his right knee his senior year.

ESPN still ranked him as the No. 1 recruit out of high school, and he committed to Duke University. At Duke University though, he would only play in 26 games, playing just 11 minutes and averaging 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

What should Harry Giles improve on this upcoming season?

Given his history of injuries, it is amazing how he has bounced back and continues to show potential. Giles has already been putting in the work in the offseason, showing a little versatility against NBA-Great Chris Paul!

Although, this is just a glimpse of what Giles has been working on, there other areas that he should be working on like his handle. That area got better as the season went on, but after a few games, he had as many as four turnovers a game. He also averaged two turnovers per game, but most of the turnovers came off of bad passes.

Giles needs to continue to control his emotion in the game, as it can get him into foul trouble. Highlighted below is a Sacramento Kings vs New York Knicks game, where Giles received a flagrant foul while muscling against Luke Kornet. As he says, “He had no idea, it was that vicious.”

He had an average of about three fouls per game last season.

With his emotion in check though, the sky is the limit!

Harry Giles has so many ways to score and one can see this in the Kings preseason game against the Golden State Warriors,  where he had a double-digit scoring night with 17 points.

He did show a glimpse of his shooting touch too, which he should continue to improve on. He only averaged 0.1 threes per game in the 2018-19 season and should look at trying to stretch the floor with next season, which I expect him to do.

What is Giles good at already?

Most Kings fans believe that Giles is Webber-lite.

One of the ways that Giles could be Webber-like is his passing ability. Webber averaged almost four assists in his rookie season in 32 minutes, Giles could go on to average a little less in the same amount of minutes.

From the clip, you can see Giles is good at spotting open teammates cutting to the basket. He has developed chemistry with teammates such as Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley, and most of his assists come from the top left corner of the free-throw line. Can’t wait to see many more Giles assists this year!

As mentioned above, Giles also has shown he can score in a variety of ways which is mostly in the paint on dunks, lobs, and hook shots. He can score with either hand. Showing the smooth touch.  He also tends to run the floor hard so his teammates can easily find him, which also contributed to the fast pace last season! At the beginning of the season, Giles struggled scoring but as he gained confidence and experience, the game started slowing down and started easily scoring.

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Kings fans better get ready for a breakout season from Giles!