Harry Giles III has yet to log a minute in an NBA regular-season game.
Still, the Kings forward has been the talk of the organization for months.
“I can understand having a guy coming off injury, that’s a rookie that hasn’t played ... ‘Why are they hyping him?’ ” Giles told The Bee in April. “But ... I’m ready to go. It’s not about the hype, it’s not about the media, it’s about me getting on the court and playing ball ... I don’t even think about anything else.”
He’s also been the talk of some national publications recently.
Bleacher Report on Monday joined ESPN in calling Giles a dark-horse candidate in this season’s NBA Rookie of the Year race.
Zach Buckley of BR highlighted five players who could be this season’s Donovan Mitchell, who was drafted 13th by the Utah Jazz and just fell short to the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons for the honor.
Giles, like Simmons, missed his first NBA season recovering from knee injuries. So even though the Duke product was selected 20th overall in the 2017 draft, he’s still considered a rookie.
Giles was Buckley’s No. 2 pick, right after Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges.
“A healthy Harry Giles — which he’s reportedly been for a while — is a problem,” Buckley wrote. “He’s explosive around the rim and skilled away from it. It isn’t uncommon to hear Giles likened to former do-it-all Sacramento Kings star Chris Webber, the 1993-94 Rookie of the Year and a five-time All-Star. Listen to the practice reports coming out of Sacramento, and you’d think Giles was destined to follow the same path.”
Giles, who got his first taste of NBA action during last month’s California Classic summer league tournament at Golden 1 Center, was also mentioned by ESPN’s Kevin Pelton as a surprise candidate for the award.
“I’m going off the board to the 2017 draft to take Harry Giles, who — much like last year’s Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons — missed his first season in the NBA with an injury,” Pelton wrote. “... Giles was probably more effective than Marvin Bagley in summer play, averaging 14.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per 36 minutes.”
Pelton’s colleague agreed.
“Love the Giles call,” Mike Schmitz wrote. “He was fantastic in Vegas, and I agree that he could be poised for a big rookie (or sophomore?) season.”