The Sacramento Kings continue to move forward with their long-term plan of developing their youth, but it may come at a price.
The team picked up the fourth-year option on guard De’Aaron Fox and the third-year option on big man Marven Bagley Thursday. However, in a move that surprised many fans, they declined the forth-year option on the popular, but injury-prone center Harry Giles.
The charismatic big man from Duke won over Kings fans with his friendly demeaner and willingness to go the extra mile to interact with the residents of Sacramento. But now he will be an unrestricted free-agent next summer which saves the Kings approximately $3.79 million in 2020-21 and draws a line in the sand that Harry will need to prove he can withstand the riggers of a long NBA season. Or his NBA career may be nothing more than a case of “What could have been…”.
Following a redshirt rookie year, he played only 58 games in the 2018-19 season due to lingering affects of three knee surgeries that have kept him off the court for much of the past five years.
In an interview on October 25, Harry spoke with the media briefly about his knee and willingness to get back out on the court. His frustrations were clear, and he may have already known the team’s plans regarding his 2020-21 option by then.
When Harry can get out on the floor, he has displayed talents unlike many big men in the league today. A willingness to pass and get his teammates the ball in ideal situations is one of the skills that really caught the eye of Kings general manager Vlade Divac – a skilled passing big himself back in the day.
We will have to wait and see. If Giles can prove that his knee will hold up and he can be a key component in the team’s youth future, there is nothing holding them back from trying to re-sign him next summer.
In other moves, the kings also announced their decision to decline the fourth-year option on center Caleb Swanigan. The 6’9” center out of Purdue was acquired last year in a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for center Skal Labissiere but hasn’t really found his way in the league.