De’Aaron Fox and Harry Giles III were both drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2017, but their familiarity with one another dates back much longer than that.
As part of the same high school class, they constantly kept an eye on one another in the rankings, though Giles’ spot remained constant.
Fox noted on Twitch this week that Giles was the “number one player in our class by far, by far he was the number one player in our class.” Every year, no matter what other movement took place underneath him, Giles remained atop the rankings in spite of missing his entire sophomore season with a knee injury and also tearing his ACL during his senior year.
Giles may have dominated the high school leaderboard, but his college career was wrecked by injuries as well. Meanwhile, Fox — the consensus no. 6 in the 2016 high school class — came alive at Kentucky, vaulted to no. 5 in the 2017 NBA Draft, and is now the Kings’ franchise cornerstone.
Nevertheless, Fox carries enormous admiration for the player Giles was and still is, even if he hasn’t been able to display it in the NBA due to his health. During the Twitch stream, Fox lauded Giles’ handle, particularly for someone 6-foot-10, and also expressed some envy at the fact that Giles is able to just pick the ball off of the court during practice like he’s wearing a mitt. Classic Napoleon complex.
Fox and Giles have only played together for 579 minutes in three years of being teammates in Sacramento, though Giles redshirted his rookie season as he continued to recover from the knee injuries that bothered him at Duke. For context, the Kings have played 3072 minutes this season.
That minutes number figures to remain fairly stagnant. Even if the NBA returns this season, Giles is unlikely to remain in Sacramento beyond 2020 given that the team declined his fourth-year option.
Giles popped as the starting center before the season came to a halt, averaging 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds on 58.2% shooting since the All-Star break. His advanced stats paint a less rosy picture, as the Kings have performed much better with Alex Len on the floor, but it’s perhaps too soon to judge a 21-year-old playing his first extended stretch of basketball in almost four years.
Wherever Giles ends up, he knows he has a fan in his current point guard. As Fox told his Twitch listeners, “Never disrespect Harry, that’s my dude.”