Marc J. Spears: The LA Clippers have waived Harry Giles.
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Michael Scotto: Portland Trail Blazers agreed to a minimum deal with Harry Giles, league sources told @HoopsHype. The team still has their bi-annual exception available to spend this offseason.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent Harry Giles has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, source tells ESPN.
Carmichael Dave: The Sacramento Kings and Harry Giles will part ways, according to multiple league sources. Unclear where he is headed, but his time in Sacramento has come to an end.
But for Divac, the move was based on his values and his confidence that he could bring Giles back anyway. Divac said he didn’t pick up Giles’ contract option because Giles showed up to the Kings training camp last year out of shape. Last summer, Giles was tabbed as the only Kings player who didn’t show up regularly to work out and get ready. This offended Divac, whose dedication to his craft landed him in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “My message to him was to be a pro,” Divac said. “You have to be a pro. And he responded very well. When we came back (after league-wide the COVID-19 shutdown) he came in shape. I was very pleased. My idea was to keep him around.”
Harry Giles seemed destined for NBA greatness just a few short years ago. He was a highly-ranked high school prospect, but a torn ACL devastated his senior year before he was a one-and-done prospect at Duke. Drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2017, he’s spent his first three years with the club but will be an unrestricted free agent this summer after the Kings declined his fourth-year option back in October. That declined option was supposed to be the last whimper of Giles’ career in Sacramento, but a combination of injuries, poor play, and trade demands from the other Kings’ big men pushed him back into the rotation in late December. From there, he enjoyed the best stretch of his career before the league was put on hold on March 11.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week, the league is pushing a 22-team return to play plan, which would include a Kings team that was playing their best basketball before the hiatus. Since Giles took over the starting center position in early February, the Kings had won 10 of 15 to climb into the morass of teams 3.5 games back of the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Regardless of the outcome, Giles will walk into free agency this summer, with the Kings only able to pay him up to the $3.98 million they declined to guarantee him in October. Given his injury history, the very tepid free agent market this summer, and the general move away from pure centers in today’s NBA, it’s unclear whether he’ll outstrip that value on his contract next year.
Giles went home last summer and according to multiple sources, the team was unhappy about the work that he put in. First, he wasn’t available to play in the California Classic and when he showed up to training camp, his knee swelled up on the first day and the Kings shut him down. What exactly happened over the summer has remained mostly a mystery, but according to sources, Giles missed a meet-up with the training staff and the team believed he wasn’t ready to compete when camp opened.
There was a vote amongst members of the front office and while it wasn’t unanimous, the decision was made not to pick up the option and to force Giles into a “prove-it” season. While the Kings’ intention was to show tough love to a young player, the decision opened a door that might cost them. Giles has worked his way back into the good graces of the team during the season and he played very well during a 31-game stretch leading up to the suspension of the league.
The Kings opened the door for opposing teams to come in and steal away a young player without compensation. According to a league source, there were multiple teams that contacted Sacramento to check on Giles’ availability at the NBA trade deadline, which the Kings turned away. Whether anyone is willing to offer $4 million a year is unknown, but it might not take that much. As an unrestricted free agent, Giles can go to any team offering up a salary, regardless of whether it is more than what the Kings might offer.
James Ham: According to a league source, the Kings love Giles and will continue to support his development. This decision does not mean that he can’t be a part of the future. He is close to a return to the court.
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June 25, 2022 | 6:51 am EDT Update
But whatever the case, teams are reportedly making preparations for the Nets star potentially being available in the coming days. That’s according to ESPN insider Zach Lowe on a post-NBA draft episode of his Lowe Post podcast: “I can tell you this. This is what teams are doing. Teams are already operating under, not the assumption, but ‘we need to prepare for the contingency that Kevin Durant is available via trade in six days or seven days.’ … The whole league is now.”
Rumors have it that if Irving ends up leaving the Nets, Durant could also ask out. For Windhorst, trying to trade for KD after the Irving situation blew up would be something the Heat could do. “The godfather move is not to trade for Kyrie Irving. The godfather move is to let the Kyrie Irving situation to blow up and then wait for Kevin Durant to say he wants out of there. That’s the Miami Heat move,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s Get Up.
Woj also said that while Irving has given the Nets six NBA destinations he’d prefer if there’s no agreement, there is limited interest in him at max money. The ESPN insider said the only team with any real interest is the Lakers. Still, he argued, getting Irving a contract paying more than $6.3 million — the taxpayers MLE — seems unlikely. “This is getting acrimonious,” Woj told a panel on ESPN’s NBA analysts. “and I think that’s the concern when you look at not only Kyrie’s future in Brooklyn, but also Kevin Durant’s future and whether they can hold this thing together.”
Woj also was clear that with some of Irving’s six landing spots, not all of them reciprocate. “The interest isn’t mutual in several of these places,” Woj said. “Obviously the Lakers are the ones that loom. And will Kyrie Irving walk away from a $36.9 million player option that he can opt into and have that money guaranteed, especially after a year where he lost about $17 million by not being vaccinated last year and untold more with a sneaker deal that isn’t going to be there anymore, certainly at the level it was.”
Several teams have already been linked to a potential swoop on Kyrie if his contract negotiations with the Nets continue to deteriorate. Be that as it may, NBA analyst Chris Broussard believes that Irving’s options aren’t actually as vast as some might think: “Half of these teams don’t even want Kyrie,” Broussard said on First Things First. “I was texting with someone that works for one of these teams yesterday, ‘You want Kyrie?’ ‘No!’ It was the fastest return text I’ve ever got. And then, ‘What do you think of his wish list?’ ‘Tomfoolery & wishful thinking.’ That was the answer.”
Jake Fischer on Dejounte Murray: The Spurs have a really high asking price for him. They’ve told multiple teams that I’ve spoken to have called them that the price is a Jrue Holiday-like deal, three first-round picks seems to be the benchmark.