Sacramento Kings Free Agency Profile: Trey Lyles

Jun 29, 2023, 7:13 AM

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23: Trey Lyles #41 of the Sacramento Kings shoots the ball against...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

When Trey Lyles was acquired by Sacramento last February, the forward was a footnote in a trade that sent Marvin Bagley III to Detroit and Donte DiVincenzo to the Kings.

Just over one year later, Lyles arguably was the most valuable player in that three-team deal, especially for his $2.6 million contract–one of the better bargain deals in the NBA.

After proving that he can act as a difference maker on the offensive end and the boards during a 24-game stint with Sacramento in 2021-22, Kings general manager Monte McNair picked up Lyles’ team option for 2022-23 and slotted the 6’9 forward in as a backup power forward.

Over 74 games this season, Lyles averaged 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 36 percent from three-point range.

YouTube video

Lyles brought Sacramento stability at the backup four position while playing spot minutes at the small-ball five, an aspect of his game that he put on display during Games 6 and 7 of the NBA Playoffs.

A young Kings team needed experience in its rotation, and Lyles–a player that has been part of three playoff runs with Utah, Denver, and now Sacramento–fit the bill in that regard.

Not only did Lyles bring a veteran presence, but the 27-year-old became a fan-favorite due to his notable hustle and ability to make the right play.

Lyles has a strong basketball IQ, turning the ball over just 0.4 time per game while playing like a starting-caliber forward off the bench (did not start one game over 74 appearances).

Should the Sacramento Kings bring Trey Lyles back in free agency?

During his end-of-season press conference in May, Lyles made it clear that he wants to return to the Kings in free agency this summer.

“100 percent,” Lyles said when asked if he wanted to be back with this group next season. “This is the most at home I’ve felt with any team that I’ve been on. These guys are like brothers to me. One through 14, everybody gets along, so this is definitely an atmosphere and somewhere that I want to stay.”

Sacramento is interested in bringing Greek League MVP Sasha Vezenkov–another power forward that can stretch the floor–over in 2023-24, a potential move that could impact the Kings’ need to bring Lyles back for a new contract.

One important aspect of Lyles’ free agency is that he wants to be here, something that NBA free agents have not been interested in over the past two decades.

The Kings should want players that want to be here, and more candidates may emerge as the positivity surrounding the team continues to make its way through inner league circles.

While there are certainly conversations to be had about how Sacramento could make signing both Lyles and Vezenkov work, Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer shared on Tuesday that the Kings expect to sign Lyles once free agency opens.

If Sacramento chooses to bring Lyles back in free agency, it would be a solid move for this team’s depth and an even more important move for the locker room chemistry by keeping a piece of the inaugural ‘Beam Team’ intact.

Sacramento Kings Offseason Schedule

  • Friday, June 30– Free Agent negotiating period begins
  • Monday, July 3rd & Wednesday, July 5th – California Classic Summer League at Golden 1 Center
  • Thursday, July 6– Free Agents can begin signing deals
  • Friday, July 7–Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
  • August TBD– 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • September TBD– Sacramento Kings training camp begins

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Sacramento Kings Free Agency Profile: Trey Lyles