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Season Review: Trey Lyles

Lyles had a good year despite some moments of inconsistency.
By | 34 Comments | May 9, 2024

Apr 7, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Trey Lyles (41) rebounds during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Lyles had a weird year. In many ways, it was a better year than last season, and yet it still felt like a little bit of a letdown. In that way, Lyles’ year mirrors that of the Kings as a whole. The numbers aren’t bad, they just don’t seem to have the same impact that we were looking for. For comparison on the numbers:

2022-23:
7.6 PTS, 4.1 REB, 0.9 AST, 0.4 STL, 0.4 BLK, 36.3 3P% on 3.2 3PA

2023-24:
7.2 PTS, 4.4 REB, 1.2 AST, 0.3 STL, 0.3 BLKL, 38.4 3P% on 3.8 3PA

Overall, Lyles put up similar numbers, but increased his 3 point volume and efficiency. But Lyles put up those similar raw numbers despite playing more minutes per game, jumping from 16.9 to 20.0 minutes per game. Lyles also struggled with injuries this season, missing a lengthy stretch with a lingering calf injury. In all, Lyles played in just 58 games this year, as opposed to 74 the season before.

Lyles by no means had a bad season, and he’s not the reason for the Kings woes this year, but he also didn’t help the way many of us (myself included) expected him to this season. For me, the biggest issues with Lyles’ season was inconsistency. For the season Lyles had 31 of 58 games this season where he registered fewer than 5 rebounds. He had 16 games where he scored fewer than 4 points. 39 games where he scored 9 points or less. For a Kings team that desperately needed bench production, Lyles had a plenty of opportunity and often failed to deliver. For all our complaints about Harrison Barnes’ slumps, Lyles’ offensive slumps often slipped under the radar.

For all the inconsistency on offense, it’s worth taking a moment to recognize Lyles’ defense. Trey would often be tasked with guarding bigger opponents, or fast wings, and Lyles performed well against whatever was thrown at him. For the season, Lyles posted a defensive rating of 110.2, better than any Kings big man other than Alex Len. Lyles’ Net Rating of 7.7 was also second only to Len (excluding players who only played a handful of minutes).

Lyles had a good season for the Kings overall, but it could have been even better. If Lyles can find consistency, he’d be a huge factor for Sacramento’s success.

Trey enters next season as an expiring contract. On a very reasonable $8 million expiring deal, Lyles could be a valuable trade chip in the offseason or at the trade deadline, especially if the Kings are concerned about losing Lyles next summer. It’ll be a challenging decision for the front office, and it’ll be something to keep an eye on as we move into next year.

 

 

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jwalker1395
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May 9, 2024 1:23 pm

Lyles was a bit of a disappointment to me this season. I had been hoping he’d emerge as a key rotation player, especially given the up and down play of Barnes. But ultimately he proved just as capable of vanishing acts as the man in front of him in the rotation.

His defense and rebounding were solid, but the scoring came and went during crucial stretches of the season. The small ball 5 experiment was also underwhelming. His shooting was nice in 5-out lineups, but he just does not have great feel for setting screens, rolling to the rim, working the DHO, or finding the open man from the low post or top of the key.

I like Lyles. He seems like a good dude and solid locker room presence. In the end, though, it seems his ceiling is as an 8-10 man. Not bad, but not great. Lyles shouldn’t be a dealbreaker in any potential moves this offseason.

murraytant
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May 9, 2024 3:15 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

I am surprised his numbers are so similar to last year. Last year he seemed to make more of an impact, particularly in small line ups. This year I just did not see much. It is, I guess, all perception.

I would like to keep him but have 1-2 others who move ahead of him in the rotation.

AnybodyButBagley
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May 9, 2024 1:30 pm

Lyles is not moving this team in any direction. He is what he is.

He is what he is players will not get this team into the playoffs.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 9, 2024 1:38 pm

Well described, Greg. The bench was a sore spot for the this season’s Sacramento Kings.

It seemed to be Malik Monk who would lead the most charges, and that should be somewhat expected with his flamboyant style of play. And as you point out, that didn’t seem to be the case last season. Lyles (Trey Day!), Terrence Davis (who seems to be missed more than usually mentioned), Chimezie Metu and Davion Mitchell with some later season Kessler Edwards minutes, were the bench last season with blink like glances from Mathew Dellavedova, Alex Len and Richaun Holmes seemed to be more reliable and more energetic in swinging games than this season’s bench crew.

What should we expect a bench to do?

Rest the starters
Keep leads
Provide a different look on offense, defense, or both
Individuals to fill in for injured/out starters
Individuals to provide a spark on offense, defense, or both
Develop the up and comers

In the comparison game – can you see any of the Kings bench starting for another squad?
I cannot.

Trey Lyles was a bench level player who looked much like the 6 teams in 8 seasons player that got him available for the trade to the Kings. For all of his faults, he is preferred by a country mile over Marvin Bagley, III – and don’t show me the stats. A solid citizen, a tough competitor but expecting him to rise above and replace Harrison Barnes was erroneous thinking in retrospect. His injuries seemed to effect the consistency we saw last season.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
May 9, 2024 1:44 pm

Honest question, injures aside, who had the better season when on the court: Lyles or Barnes?

Here is their side by side stats. Check out their Per 36 min, Per 100 possessions, and Advanced stats

eddie41
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May 9, 2024 2:59 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I bet HB would be more productive on load management, not playing back-to-backs, and taking other nights off.

RikSmits
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May 10, 2024 9:08 am
Reply to  Adamsite

What especially stands out is how few rebounds Barnes got. I wonder if it also has to do with Domas grabbing such a huge amount of caroms.

And likely with more volume Lyles efficiency would have decreased.

As murraytant wrote, he rarely gave me the impression that he had a huge impact. I felt differently last season. Maybe I am already jaded.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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May 9, 2024 2:40 pm

Lyles does what you expect from a perfectly fine player: he plays perfectly fine. Useful player who offers a bit of line-up flexibilty. Hope he sticks around.

eddie41
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May 9, 2024 3:03 pm

yeah, and that 38% is more impressive considering the type of threes he takes with quick release, on the move, pull-ups, etc.

Hobby916
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May 9, 2024 5:06 pm

The theme with the Kings seems to be “inconsistent play” during the 23-24 season. Domas might have been the only consistent player for them.

I was disappointed with how Lyles played. I was expecting him to build off of the previous season, and he just had basically the same season.

kingarthur916world
May 9, 2024 6:16 pm

C +

only had one bad month in march and of course injuries played a part .

I love trey.For a bench player for 8 mill he did his job and I respect that. Probably the only guy on this team that will stand up to the opposite player for his teammates.

I would love to see the kings keep him as the back up 4 for next year if possible.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
May 9, 2024 6:20 pm

Just as long as Monte gets a legit starting 4 for him to backup.

scottymusprime
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May 9, 2024 6:21 pm

His toughness was so great. Gotta have someone who will do what he did to the Bucks when they clown like that.

scottymusprime
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May 9, 2024 6:20 pm

I mentioned this in my review of HB, but I think swapping HB and Lyles (or Sasha) next year as starters would do wonders. Both Lyles and Sasha are best served as spot up shooters. Don’t make the mistake of leaving them open or you’ll pay. What our starting line up needed was another guy to do just that. HB off the Bench would be significantly better because he could be more of primary option when he’s on the floor, and he wouldn’t allow leads to collapse in the way they did so often this year. Lyles is what he is. So is Sasha. Neither of them is setting the world on fire on defense or as a passer. But both are excellent guys to park in the corner and be the last man on defense. Barnes, while excellent as a person and serving a great role, is not someone who should be starting 82 games for a seriously contending team. Lyles could be a guy who starts 50 and then for matchups we start someone else.

The other knock on Lyles from my friends who are Jazz and OKC fans is that while he isn’t streaky, he’s not a super hard worker. Of all the bench guys we have, he just is who he is. He’s not lazy, or low effort. He just isn’t pushing himself to get a starting job or to be that guy. He wasn’t ever going to make a Lauri-like jump even with the tools he has. And that’s ok. I like what he brings to the table. He’s also (as an expiring) an attractive enough piece to some teams to be part of a bigger deal.

rockbottom
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May 9, 2024 7:11 pm

Trey is a good solid player that needs to be a 10th man and not a 7th . Sasha may be better but have no valid reason to support it . Kings must improve with length and athleticism at 4 or it’s playin at best in an even stronger West .

jwalker1395
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May 9, 2024 7:25 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Very interested to see Sasha’s second season. He just has a way of making plays. He also didn’t shoot the ball as well as expected, and I wonder if a regular role in the rotation and regression to the mean doesn’t fix that for him. Maybe he shows up in better shape, too. There is intrigue still.

TheBaker
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May 10, 2024 7:51 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Not to knock on the coach too hard here – but a “regular role in the rotation” is not something he seems to figure out until 3/4 of the season has passed. Look how long it took to get Keon in there regularly when it was fairly obvious for a while that he was outperforming the starting 2 guard. Took an injury to force that change anyhow. See examples in Len/McGee and Edwards/Duarte rotational minutes also.
All that to say – unless the team goes into the season with Sasha having a set role of regular minutes and he actually performs during said minutes: I can only expect that his role will be once again sporadic and we’ll be left wondering what if.

Hobby916
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May 10, 2024 8:44 am
Reply to  TheBaker

That was my issue with the staff. Javale was stuck with way to long, Keon outplayed Davion and still did not get meaningful minutes for a long time, and I thought Sasha never really got a long enough stretch to settle in to a role. When he did play longer, he seemed to make the right play, then would get DNP-CDs or under 10 minutes a game. Not sure why, I just hope next season the top 8-9 players are consistent in their roles.

Yakshi
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Nostradumbass 21
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May 10, 2024 5:40 am

Good player on a good contract. Getting and retaining him were simply positive moves, imo.

Hobby916
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May 10, 2024 6:07 am
Reply to  Yakshi

Agreed. I was just hoping he would do more this season, and maybe injuries limited him in that regard. He disappeared like a lot of other teammates this season. Hopefully next season he can become more consistent and assertive.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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May 10, 2024 8:09 am
Reply to  Yakshi

He’s gonna be quality filler in a larger trade.

Just want to point out that Barnes/Huerter and Lyles is near perfect salary match for Kuzma.

Hobby916
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May 10, 2024 8:18 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I heard James Ham mentioning something about the salary of contracts in trades don’t necessarily need to be as close with the new cba…there was a lot of info about it and I got a little confused.

Is Kuzma an upgrade over Barnes? Slightly, I guess.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
May 10, 2024 8:24 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I’d figure he’s more of an offensive threat, but not sure he’s any better defensivley.

My personal opinion is I want no part in Kuzma. His usage is ridiculous and he’s just gonna take shots away from Keegan and Sabonis. If Monte brings Monk back and trades for Kuzma the Kings run the risk of becoming incredibly inefficient chuckers. They’d potentially have their 3 most high usage players shooting the 3 ball at around 35% combined. Yikes.

Hobby916
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May 10, 2024 8:27 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I’d rather go for a guy like DeAndre Hunter. At least he plays defense…when healthy

Last edited 7 days ago by Josh Hobson
Hobby916
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May 10, 2024 8:51 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Actually, the numbers show Barnes as being the better player than Hunter. It seems like Barnes is actually a solid SF, he just isn’t great.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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May 10, 2024 9:23 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Agreed. I’d be 100% cool with him backing up Keegan and getting spot minutes behind a legit starting PF. I think the issue may be it’s going to cost Barnes to get a legit PF, but then I guess you have Lylesand Sasha as the backup PF, but who then is the backup SF?

Ideally Monte can move Huerter and Lyles for a legit PF.

One crazy thought I had. Offer Lyles and #13 for Bobby Portis. Bucks need to cut salary and the #13 gives them a cheap rookie scale deal. Just moving Portis for Lyles saves the Bucks $6M in tax. Kings then have Barnes AND Huerter to come off the bench.

Hobby916
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May 10, 2024 9:40 am
Reply to  Adamsite

That’s an interesting idea. The bench should be more productive that way, especially if Monk returns, and the MLE + BAE players would still be added.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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May 10, 2024 9:56 am
Reply to  Hobby916

It’s one I keep kicking around in my head by taking advantage of a disappointing season in Milwaukee. Bucks may want more, but if the Kings can give up ancillary pieces and the #13 for a guy like Portis, who fits perfectly next to Sabonis, I’d be down for an overpay.

The Bucks need live bodies on the cheap, so I wonder if Monte would be willing to add Colby Jones and/or their 2nd round pick as sweetener.

Hobby916
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May 10, 2024 10:15 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Then the Kings would need to gauge if Portis would want to re-sign.

Jack
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May 10, 2024 12:11 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

His contract is good for 3 more years. I would think he would want to be a King an up and coming team. He just turned 29 so has some time left.

Hobby916
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May 10, 2024 12:39 pm
Reply to  Jack

2 years remaining, and the 25-26 season is a player option. So he could opt out after the 24-25 season.

Jack
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May 10, 2024 12:08 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Or both I would still do the trade.

Jack
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May 10, 2024 12:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

If the Kings wanted someone else say John Collins at backup PF might be able to trade say Barnes and Mitchell plus 2 seconds.

Want2win
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May 10, 2024 12:09 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Not sure I want to give a 13 for Portis I think we could get a player that will be better in year 2-3.. I like a Daron Holmes, Da Silva, Tyler Smith , the kid from France salaun , furphy , Bazelis may Fall

keep Lyles and if one of the picks shows flashes then include him in a trade

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