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Report: J.R. Giddens also heading to Sacramento for training camp

Sep 3, 2010, 4:39 PM EDT

The Kings are clearly exploring their options going into camp, and according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, former Celtic (and more recently, Mavericks’ Summer Leaguer) J.R. Giddens will be joining free agent cast-off Luther Head in Sacramento for training camp. Giddens, too, was signed to a make-good, non-guaranteed contract, but will try to play his way on to the Kings’ regular season roster.

Sacramento appears concerned with filling out their roster with wings, but neither Head nor Giddens would be a candidate for regular playing time. Even if Sacramento doesn’t yet have a clear-cut starter at the three (Omri Casspi? Donté Greene? Francisco Garcia?) they have too many capable players at both positions to warrant giving Giddens a serious look.

It’s not that Giddens is a bad player. He’s still a fringe NBA prospect, even if his instincts do manage to get him in trouble at times. He’s an NBA athlete, a good rebounder for his position, and a decent on-ball defender. A useful, but hardly necessary, offensive player. The fundamental problem with Giddens’ game is that he doesn’t give coaches a reason to play him. He’ll never force his way into a rotation. He’s just a reasonably effective last resort at the end of the bench, with little hope of climbing the ladder without notable improvement in his game.

Still, he’ll vie for that the honor to sit at the end of the Sacramento’s bench, and the one roster spot they have left. For a player like J.R., guaranteed money is the goal, and his ability to hang around in the NBA this season will likely hinge on his ability to impress the Kings.

  1. Michael Warren - Sep 4, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    Luther Head is proven player with the abilty to play the point in spurts and play the 2 guard. He’s athletic,speedy and can knock down threes. He has improved his all around game recently and that should give him a good chance to make the roster. J.R. Giddens is an unproven player with freakish athletic ability. He has a scorer’s mentality and can be a guy who can rebound and defend. He’s a very good offensive rebounder, and a nice long range shooter. He needs just needs to work on being coachable, improve his handle and his mid-range game. I personally think they need a shooter and Luther Head is a better shooter than J.R. Either one would be a good pickup though.

  2. Dr. C. - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Rob Mahoney’s post not only lacks imagination, it is intellectually dishonest to the core…this is mere plaigarism of the stories and assessments that have circulated for two years about this player without ever being substantiated…ever. I have followed this kid’s career fairly closely for years and have been amazed at how often he has been under-estimated or overlooked (beginning with being cheated out of several conference awards in the Mountain West). In the NBA the talent level is extremely high (J.R. is incredibly talented)…the politics of playing are even higher. Gidden’s problems began at Kansas where he was abandoned by his coaches after an altercation that turned out to have been sheer unadulterated self-defense… In truth, no one thought that he would ever play again so Kansas cast him off (he was Roy Williams’ recruit…not Self’s). He came to UNM where he became a star player (for two years he was clearly the best offensive AND defensive player in the conference (…more politics). If you really want to know how good Giddens is, ask Danny Grainger who has spent significant time with him in the gym. If you want to know about his character and work ethic ask anyone who knows him personally. I have never seen anyone work harder and show more dedication to his sport and I have been around college athletes for more than 20 years as a professor, mentor, coach…
    I have always been impressed with Paul Westphal’s ability to see beyond media biased or ungrounded characterizations of players, in fact, I don’t think J.R. would have been given this opportunity were it not for Westphal’s eye for talent… I suspect that this young man will shock the media when he gets a fair opportunity to shine. Doc Rivers NEVER gave him a fair shot (largely because Danny Ainge pulled the trigger for J.R.)…Doc’s ego is Doc’s ego and we need not rehearse here the situation in New York. While it is true that there is no perfection in J.R. Giddens, he is not the kind of person who would ever be content to sit at the end of the bench or grub for money. I would challenge Mahoney to actually speak with this young man before writing so crassly about his goals…but then again, who wants to read the truth anymore.
    Dr. C.

  3. Dr. C. - Oct 1, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Rob Mahoney’s post not only lacks imagination, it is intellectually dishonest to the core…this is mere plaigarism of the stories and assessments that have circulated for two years about this player without ever being substantiated…ever. I have followed this kid’s career fairly closely for years and have been amazed at how often he has been under-estimated or overlooked (beginning with being cheated out of several conference awards in the Mountain West). In the NBA the talent level is extremely high (J.R. is incredibly talented)…the politics of playing are even higher. Gidden’s problems began at Kansas where he was abandoned by his coaches after an altercation that turned out to have been sheer unadulterated self-defense… In truth, no one thought that he would ever play again so Kansas cast him off (he was Roy Williams’ recruit…not Self’s). He came to UNM where he became a star player (for two years he was clearly the best offensive AND defensive player in the conference (…more politics). If you really want to know how good Giddens is, ask Danny Grainger who has spent significant time with him in the gym. If you want to know about his character and work ethic ask anyone who knows him personally. I have never seen anyone work harder and show more dedication to his sport and I have been around college athletes for more than 20 years as a professor, mentor, coach…
    I have always been impressed with Paul Westphal’s ability to see beyond media biased or ungrounded characterizations of players, in fact, I don’t think J.R. would have been given this opportunity were it not for Westphal’s eye for talent… I suspect that this young man will shock the media when he gets a fair opportunity to shine. Doc Rivers NEVER gave him a fair shot (largely because Danny Ainge pulled the trigger for J.R.)…Doc’s ego is Doc’s ego and we need not rehearse here the situation in New York. While it is true that there is no perfection in J.R. Giddens, he is not the kind of person who would ever be content to sit at the end of the bench or grub for money. I would challenge Mahoney to actually speak with this young man before writing so crassly about his goals…but then again, who wants to read the truth anymore.
    Dr. C.

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