Sacramento Kings

When the Kings play this summer, one man will appear briefly and another will sit out

The Kings’ Marvin Bagley III, left, and Harry Giles III celebrate during an NBA Summer League game last year in Las Vegas. Bagley will play only in the California Classic this year and Giles will sit out this summer.
The Kings’ Marvin Bagley III, left, and Harry Giles III celebrate during an NBA Summer League game last year in Las Vegas. Bagley will play only in the California Classic this year and Giles will sit out this summer. Sacramento Bee file

With just a few days before the Kings host the California Classic for the second time, they have announced who will play for the hosts during the summer league event.

The omission of one player got fans talking on social media.

Harry Giles III was not on the 16-man roster released Friday afternoon. The 6-foot-10 forward, who made his NBA debut in last year’s tournament at Golden 1 Center, won’t play in the three-day showcase which includes games between the Kings, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.

Kings summer league coach Jesse Mermuys said at Friday’s minicamp the move wasn’t for precautionary reasons. Giles, drafted No. 20 overall in 2017, was held out for the season by the team to recover from past knee injuries.

“Harry’s here, he’s healthy, he’s learning, he’s around, he’s going to be a part of it,” Mermuys said. “We just, as an organization, decided we’re going to take a look at other guys.”

He added that Giles is expected to travel with the team to Las Vegas for the annual summer league July 5-15, saying, “I think we’ll have a decent amount of our guys there.”

The Kings’ other rookie from last season, Marvin Bagley III, is on the California Classic roster, but the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft will not play in Las Vegas, according to an updated roster released by the team Saturday.

Bagley had a huge dunk that energized the crowd in the first game of last year’s tournament, a 98-93 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Bagley told the media after Saturday’s minicamp. “That was my first time seeing how loud Golden 1 can get.”

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Sacramento Kings

Now he’ll join some familiar faces on the home court, including Frank Mason III, who played in 38 games with the Kings this past season; Caleb Swanigan, who came to Sacramento in a deadline-day trade and appeared in three games with the Kings; and Wenyen Gabriel, who signed a two-way contract with the Kings last year but played all season with the G League team in Stockton.

Also on the roster are two of the Kings’ second-round picks from this year’s draft – Justin James (40th, Wyoming) and Kyle Guy (55th, Virginia) – and Isaiah Pineiro, a Placer High graduate who recently completed his collegiate career at San Diego.

The team will be coached by Mermuys, who served two seasons as an assistant to Kings head coach Luke Walton while both men were with the Lakers. Walton was hired by the Kings in April shortly after mutually parting ways with Los Angeles.

All three of the Kings’ games will be aired live on NBA TV, with Monday’s matchup with the Warriors also being televised on NBC Sports California. Fans can hear Monday’s game and Wednesday’s game against the Heat on KTHK 1140.

The California Classic runs Monday through Wednesday at Golden 1 Center. For more information, visit Kings.com/CAClassic.

*Note: This roster does not reflect Bagley not playing in Las Vegas.

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Noel Harris is a sports reporter for The Sacramento Bee, with a focus on the Kings. He’s been in professional journalism for more than 18 years. His roles have included sports editor at The Modesto Bee and news editor at two smaller California newspapers, as well as online producer and copy editor.
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