When the Sacramento Kings flew to India for a pair of preseason games, they left 21-year-old big man Harry Giles home to recover from a sore left knee. Yesterday, head coach Luke Walton told the media that the 40 hours of flight time would not have been ideal for a player in his situation.
In addition to missing the opening preseason games, both against the Indiana Pacers, Giles has been sidelined in practice since they’re returned stateside and he’s not expected to join the club in Thursday’s tilt against the Phoenix Suns at home.
A precautionary MRI performed on Sep. 30, after Giles participated in the team’s first two days of training camp, revealed no new findings, Anderson reports, but Giles has been sidelined since.
Knee issues are nothing new for Giles, once regarded as one of the most tantalizing big men prospects in basketball. In fact, Giles had undergone three knee surgeries prior to making his NBA debut, which he did in 2018-19.
While Giles was limited to 58 games in his rookie campaign after a red-shirted 2017-18, he showed modest flashes of the player he could grow to become if healthy.
In just 16.7 minutes per game of action from January on, Giles averaged 8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. In the nine contests where he saw at least 20 minutes of action, he put up 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in just 21.7 minutes of action.
Given Giles’ potential and the potential of a frontcourt that features him alongside Marvin Bagley, the Kings are wise to be cautious with their 21-year-old asset.
There’s no indication that the knee ailment plaguing him now – formally listed as left knee soreness – is a serious concern but it’s something we’ll monitor as the latest in a series of setbacks for an intriguing player.