Harry Giles

Kings Notes: Cauley-Stein, Workouts, Team USA

The Kings are known to be looking for a starting center when free agency begins on June 30, but does that mean that it’s time for Sacramento and former No. 6 overall pick Willie Cauley-Stein to part ways?

Jason Jones of The Athletic opines that even though the Kings have the ability to make Cauley-Stein a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer of just under $6.3MM, it might be best after four seasons for both sides to see what else is out there, especially if the Kings can pick up someone like Nikola Vucevic.

The 25-year-old big man had some bright spots during the 2018/19 campaign, including a hot start that helped make the Kings one of the NBA’s surprise teams to start the season. But, the Kings still feel that Cauley-Stein is an average to below-average rebounder for a big man, and his blocks per game this past season were the lowest of his career.

Perhaps more importantly, the Kings really like what they already have from young, cheaper big men like Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles, and questions still remain, fairly or not, about Cauley-Stein’s desire and focus, which the Kings aren’t sure will now suddenly change after four seasons in the NBA.

There’s more out of Sacramento this weekend:

  • The Kings brought in six prospects for workouts on Thursday, per the team’s website. The players are: guard Jordan Bone (Tennessee), guard Terence Davis (Mississippi), swingman Brian Bowen (Australia), forward Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), forward Trey Mourning (Georgetown), and big man Chris Silva (South Carolina).
  • Six more more NBA hopefuls will work out for the Kings on Monday, per a report on the team’s website. The prospects are: guard Kyle Guy (Virginia), guard B.J. Taylor (UCF), guard John Konchar (IPFW), guard Jaren Lewis (Abilene Christian), swingman Jakeenan Gant (UL Lafayette), and forward Nick Mayo (Eastern Kentucky).
  • As we relayed earlier this week, two Kings’ players will be participating in USA Basketball this summer. Harrison Barnes will be at USA Basketball’s August training camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China this fall, while the aforementioned Bagley will be part of the 10-man select team that will scrimmage against the 18-man FIBA World Cup roster.

Pacific Notes: Looney, Lakers, Suns, Kings

When it comes to Warriors players facing free agency this summer, the focus has rightly been on Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, but those aren’t the only players on the roster with expiring contracts.

One key role player up for a new deal this offseason is Kevon Looney, who played regular minutes at center this season as DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Jones dealt with injuries. Now, his role has increased once again with Cousins expected to miss the rest of the playoffs, perhaps putting him in a position to boost his value as he nears free agency.

The Warriors hold Looney’s Bird rights, allowing the team to go over the cap to re-sign him. But if Thompson and Durant return, it’s not clear how high Golden State would be willing to go to retain a role player. Asked about Looney’s upcoming free agency, teammate Andre Iguodala acknowledged that a more lucrative payday may await the youngster elsewhere.

“I hope he gets paid,” Iguodala said, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (video link). “So I hope he doesn’t come back because I hope he gets all the money.”

Here’s more out of the Pacific:

  • Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka met with Sixers assistant Monty Williams earlier this week to discuss the club’s head coaching vacancy, and there’s an expectation on both sides that a second visit will occur at some point, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Williams is one of three known candidates for the Lakers’ job, along with Tyronn Lue and Juwan Howard.
  • The Suns‘ approach to the offseason will hinge largely on where the team’s first-round pick lands in the lottery, as Gina Mizell of The Athletic explains. Mizell sketches out multiple potential paths for Phoenix’s offseason — one that involves Zion Williamson, one featuring Ja Morant, and one in which the Suns land outside the top two in the draft.
  • In a story published shortly after Dave Joerger was let go by the Kings, Jason Jones of The Athletic passes along some fascinating tidbits on Joerger’s tenure in Sacramento. According to Jones, Joerger never really seemed to connect with youngsters Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles, favorites of the front office. Sources also told Jones that Joerger favored drafting Luka Doncic over Bagley, and would have been on board with trading Buddy Hield before the 2018/19 season.

Harry Giles’ Development Key To Kings’ Future

The Kings, long mired in relative insignificance, have surprisingly put together a strong start to the 2018/19 season, writes James Blancarte of Basketball Insiders. Buoyed by the play of guards De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Bogdan Bogdanovic and big men Willie Cauley-Stein and Marvin Bagley, the young Kings have a winning record nearly halfway through their schedule as they look for their first winning season since 2005-06.

And while rookie Bagley, the No. 2 overall selection in last June’s draft, has garnered more national attention, Sacramento fans know that the development of their other rookie big man, 20-year-old Harry Giles, is perhaps just as important to the long-term future of this franchise.

Giles, who has bounced back and forth between Sacramento and Stockton this season, knows that while it may be difficult to stay patient, his time may be coming sooner rather than later, especially if Cauley-Stein decides to sign a big offer sheet elsewhere this summer and the Kings opt not to match.

“It’s good. It’s helping me develop. Stay patient and helping me slow down, translate my game to the big leagues. Just trying to play the game the same way I play there, be patient and play with poise. Just let the game come to me. I’m just trying to translate to this.”

Part of Giles’ emphasis on his game moving forward is to put a lot of work into different areas in order to round out his game in what has become an NBA filled with versatile big man who can play outside of the paint, especially on defense.

“(Defense) isn’t difficult but it’s a lot of different things. You got to put together with calling out the screens, the way you want to cover it and so many different things you have to do, positioning to get the rebound too. You got to be smart with things like that. It comes with time, it comes with experience. It comes with guarding different players. I think you guard every player in the league, it’ll change up. But for the most part, it’s great.”

Luckily for Giles, the Kings are open to waiting patiently for him to improve his game and develop, as general manager Vlade Divac doesn’t appear to be keen on making any drastic moves in order to increase the team’s playoff chances in sacrifice of the franchise’s future.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/29/18

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Rockets have assigned veteran guard Brandon Knight to their affiliate in Rio Grande Valley, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. This will be the second G League trip of the year for Knight, who is working his way back after missing a year and a half with an ACL tear. Knight has seen limited minutes in six games with Houston since returning to action.
  • The Raptors sent Malachi Richardson to their Raptors 905 affiliate, according to a tweet from the G League team. Richardson has appeared in 19 games for Toronto, but is only seeing 5.0 minutes per night.
  • The Jazz tweeted that they have recalled Tony Bradley from the Salt Lake City Stars. Bradley has made several trips back and forth to the G League, but has yet to play in an NBA game this season.
  • The Bucks recalled Donte DiVincenzo from their Wisconsin affiliate, according to a tweet from the team. The rookie guard had 17 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Herd last night.
  • The Kings recalled Harry Giles after sending him to Stockton for Friday’s game, the team announced on its website. Giles had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his latest G league trip.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/28/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Kings assigned big man Harry Giles to the Stockton Kings, according to a team press release. Giles has appeared in 22 games for Sacramento in his rookie season, posting 5.3 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 10.1 MPG, but has only played six games this month.
  • The Jazz assigned center Tony Bradley to the Salt Lake City Stars, the team’s PR department tweets. The Stars face the Austin Spurs on Friday. Bradley is averaging 14.6 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 14 G League contests this season.
  • The Hornets recalled forward Dwayne Bacon and guard Devonte Graham from the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. Bacon had 19 points and nine rebounds in the Swarm’s win over the Maine Red Claws on Thursday. He has appeared in 17 games with Charlotte, averaging 5.5 PPG in 12.3 MPG. Graham totaled 30 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals for the Swarm on Thursday. He’s appeared in 13 Hornets games.
  • The Heat assigned shooting guard Dion Waiters to Sioux Falls, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. Waiters is expected to practice twice with the G League team and rejoin the Heat on Sunday, Chiang adds. Waiters hasn’t played this season after undergoing ankle surgery last winter.
  • The Bucks assigned rookie guard Donte DiVincenzo to the Wisconsin Herd, according to a team press release. DiVincenzo, the 17th pick of the draft has appeared in 22 games with the Bucks, averaging 5.0 PPG in 16.1 MPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/23/18

Here are Sunday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Kings have recalled rookie big man Harry Giles from the Stockton Kings, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California (via Twitter).
  • The Spurs announced in a press release that they have recalled rookies Chimezie Metu and Lonnie Walker from their G League affiliate in Austin. Walker has yet to make his debut for the Spurs as he continues his recovery from a knee injury he suffered during the preseason.
  • The Warriors have recalled rookie guard Jacob Evans from their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, according to a press release sent out by the team.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/19/18

Below are today’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Jazz have assigned rookie guard Grayson Allen and big man Tony Bradley to the Salt Lake City Stars, Utah’s G League affiliate, per a press release from the team. Allen has averaged 16.8 PPG in four G League contests this season, while Bradley has posted 14.8 PPG in 12 contests with the Stars.
  • The Kings have assigned rookie big man Harry Giles to their G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, per an official media release from the team. In his lone G League appearance earlier this season, Giles poured in 30 points on 62% shooting.
  • The Grizzlies have assigned big man Ivan Rabb to the Memphis Hustle, the team’s G League affiliate, per a tweet from the the team’s communications department. Rabb, who was recently named the G League player of the week, has averaged 24.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game for the Hustle so far this season.
  • The Bucks have assigned rookie guard Donte DiVincenzo to their G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, in anticipation of the Herd’s game against the Memphis Hustle tomorrow night. It will be DiVincenzo’s G League debut, per a tweet from the Bucks’ official Twitter account.
  • The Rockets recalled rookie big man Isaiah Hartenstein from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the team’s G League affiliate, in time for tonight’s game against the Wizards, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Hartenstein, 20, has averaged 2.1 PPG in 21 contests during his rookie season.

Kings Considering A Coaching Change?

The Kings‘ surprising start may not be enough for head coach Dave Joerger to keep his job, writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Joerger is locked in a philosophical battle with the front office over minutes for some of the team’s younger players, Haynes explains. Management sees this as a development year for the organization, while Joerger is focused on winning as many games as possible.

Of particular concern is the way  Joerger is treating Marvin Bagley III, the second player taken in this year’s draft, who is playing just 22.3 minutes per night. The 19-year-old is putting up decent numbers despite the limited playing time, with per-36-minute averages of 18.7 PPG and 8.9 RPG.

The front office wants to build around a core of Bagley, point guard De’Aaron Fox and young forwards Harry Giles and Skal Labissiere. Joerger has preferred to rely on veterans, including 30-year-old Nemanja Bjelica, who has started every game this season.

While management recognizes Joerger’s contributions to an 8-7 start, there are concerns that may lead to a coaching change. Several voices in the organization are calling for more playing time for Bagley, who many in the front office projected as a starter before the season began. Bagley is still seeing much more action than Giles, who is averaging 10 minutes per night, and Labissiere, who is at a career-low 5.6 minutes and has gotten into just five games.

The discontent in the front office, coupled with frustration from players over lack of consistency in their roles, could prove too much for Joerger, even though his contract runs through next season.

However, GM Vlade Divac responded to the report with a statement of support for Joerger, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. “Dave has our full support and confidence,” Divac said. “We continue to work together to develop our young core and compete.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/12/18

Here are Monday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Grizzlies recalled rookie point guard Jevon Carter from the Memphis Hustle, per a tweet from Grizzlies’ PR.
  • The Kings recalled rookie big man Harry Giles to their G League affiliate in Stockton, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California.
  • The Thunder announced in an email that they have recalled Abdel Nader from the Oklahoma City Blue.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/11/18

Here are Sunday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA: