NBA Rumor: Harry Giles Free Agency

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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.

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.
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