I’m pretty excited about Trey Lyles.
When the Denver Nuggets made the draft night trade that sent Donovan Mitchell to Utah for Lyles and the draft pick that would become Tyler Lydon, many fans (myself included) wondered what the end-game was. Denver already had a plethora of power forwards and it was well known that the team was in pursuit of Kevin Love via trade and ultimately Paul Millsap in free agency. With Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur already on the roster, adding two more power forwards seemed odd, to say the least. But lost in all of that was the fact that Trey Lyles was a heck of a prospect a season ago.
Lyles entered the NBA as a very unique player with a ton of upside thanks to his height - 6’ 10” - and his versatile skill set. He had a pretty smooth looking shot, he could put the ball on the floor, he could pass. He was like Danilo Gallinari in that he had power forward size with wing skills, a seemingly perfect combination for today’s NBA.
Then, following his rookie season summer league happened, and Lyles appeared to take a huge step back. He followed that up with a clunky start to his sophomore season and soon, the Utah Jazz had replaced him in the lineup with more specialized options at the four spot. Just like that, Lyles’ stock began to plummet.
Enter Denver. A team loaded with international talent that is built on unconventional and unique player skill sets. Lyles remains a high ceiling, low floor prospect but at just 21 years of age (he’s younger than Juancho Hernangomez), Lyles has time to figure it all out.
I enjoyed talking with Lyles at media day. He seems to have a very easy-going personality about him. As is the case with so many of the guys on the roster, Lyles seems to be a good fit on and off the court as the team looks to build a highly skilled, high-character roster. Check out his interview with Chad Andrus below and get excited for his fresh start here with the Nuggets.