With the season officially behind us, this is about the time we would normally begin looking forward to the draft. Actually, we normally would have been looking forward to the draft starting around February. But with the Sacramento Kings lacking a first round pick this year, we can spend a little more time than normal reflecting on the past season. We’re going to do this by grading every player on the roster, one at a time. The Sactown Royalty staff will provide their grades and thoughts, and we’ll have a poll and can discuss and debate.
Today we’re discussing Harry Giles’ rookie season. Harry finished the season averaging 7.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.
I want to give Harry a better grade than this. I enjoy him as a player and a person. He finished the year strong. I love his scoring ability, his passing, and his tenacity. But I can’t overlook his early season struggles. Despite the grade I’m giving him, though, I remain very high on Harry’s potential.
Harry Giles started the season off struggling, especially getting into foul trouble too early which hindered the time he could stay on the court. It was difficult to play Giles and expect him to produce right out the gate because he was rusty coming off injuries and he had to get used to playing the game again.
The struggles were clearly evident early on but you could see glimpses of him finding a rhythm and playing like he did in college. The game was starting to come to him smoothly and he started to play significantly better as a result. I, for one, hope Giles can become an offensive facilitator from the top of the key which we saw happen a few times because his vision is top notch for a big man plus he has the passing arsenal of a guard.
Giles still needs more time to fully develop into a starting role which is another reason the Kings need to be in the market for a starting caliber big for the short run, because The Wet Bandits of Giles and Marvin Bagley is going to be an awesome roller-coaster.
I’m seriously just giving Harry the grade he would have given himself. In my opinion, he suffered a disservice from the Kings organization because they were hyping him up before summer league. Had he been allowed to introduce his game to Kings fans without the noise from the franchise, we’d all be feeling pretty good about his season.
I have questions about his defense, primarily about footwork and focus. He can stop the offense at times because he feels he needs to be the one to make the decision with the ball (a la Rajon Rondo). He’s a unique player - if incorporated correctly, he’s the type of player that’s impossible to scheme around.
Grading for the entire year here, folks, and Giles was perhaps the most underwhelming player on the roster through nearly the first half of the season. His season really boils down to a 33 game stretch in between him cracking the core rotation and getting shelved for the season. There were some tantalizing moments, as Giles continually teased us with his vast skill set and promise of a brighter future. But he also was a rookie in the rookiest of ways on both ends of the floor, and his constant foul trouble further limited his minutes. For next year he will need to improve his defensive footwork, his ability to box out, and become much more consistent with his shot. Love the energy, now he just needs to develop the game to match.
I understand that my grading criteria is kind of all over the place here, but in Harry Giles’ case, I’m not letting his early season struggles impact my grade that much. I’d feel much worse about his season if he started strong and struggled late, but watching him go from unplayable-to-actually-helpful, the correct trajectory for a promising young player, I feel C+ about what we saw from him in 2018-19.
He fouls too much, but the defensive effort and desire is clearly there. The Kings were a horrible defensive team last season, and when I look at where this team is going to find some defense moving forward, Giles has me most optimistic that they have a potential stopper on the roster. He has a long way to go to get to that point, of course, but I really liked what I saw out of him this season with regards to defensive potential, particularly with his active hands in the pick and roll. He’s an aggressive defender, and while he must get his fouls down, I’d rather see him play active defense like that and tone it down than, say, Willie Cauley-Stein’s passive defense and trying to convince him to tone it up.
Offensively, he really needs to slow down. His passing is very good, but when he gets the ball in space, you can almost see the gears turning in his head while he tries to figure out what to do next. When Giles played with calm confidence, he looked really special offensively, and because this is a problem a lot of young players have, I’m optimistic he can figure it.
Ultimately, I came away from the season happy with what Giles showed in his rookie year, and I’m excited to see what he looks like next season.
How would you grade Harry Giles’ season?
This poll is closed