The Sacramento Kings ended up having three first-round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft thanks to a deal with Portland netted them the 15th and 20th selections for the 10th pick. After taking De’Aaron Fox at No. 5, the Kings used the 15th pick to take Justin Jackson out of North Carolina and the 20th pick on a risk-reward choice in Duke’s Harry Giles.
Giles has had multiple knee surgeries, having torn his ACL twice in high school causing him to have three knee surgeries before he even got to the NBA. Originally, the plan was to keep Giles out until January and reevaluate him in 2018. On Thursday, the Kings made the decision that Giles should be shut down for the entire season so he can continue building strength in his knees, with the target for his return being 2018 Summer League.
Giles was one of the nation’s top high school prospects in 2016, but after another arthroscopic knee surgery in October 2016, he was not able to be a significant factor for Duke last season in his 26 games played. Despite that, Giles’ talents as a high school player and the hope he could regain that form once fully healthy was enough for Sacramento to take a shot on him with their third first round pick in hopes of landing a steal.
We won’t know if the Kings will be rewarded for that risk for some time, but considering the Kings are well out of playoff contention and have no reason to rush him back, it’s smart that they will take things slow with the rookie and let him build confidence in that knee in practice and workouts before putting him on the court in July.