Trey Lyles says being back with the Kings ‘feels like home.’
Oct 3, 2023, 8:47 AM
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Fresh off of signing a two-year contract that will keep him in Sacramento for at least two more seasons, Trey Lyles spoke to the media on Monday as the Kings went through their Media Day festivities.
Lyles, a veteran forward who thrived in a reserve role for the reigning Pacific Division champions, shared his excitement about being back in Sacramento as the Kings look to build off last season’s success.
“It feels amazing. It feels like home,” Lyles said when asked how he felt to be back in the purple and black. “It was my number one priority to come back. I’m glad we were able to get the deal done, and I’m here where I feel like I was wanted and have a good relationship with everybody.”
You can listen to Lyles’ entire interview with the media by clicking ‘play’ on the video located above this section.
To watch all Media Day interviews with Sacramento Kings players, check out the Sactown Sports 1140 YouTube page by clicking here.
How did Trey Lyles perform during the 2022-23 season?
Over 74 games in 2022-23, 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 over 16.9 minutes per appearance.
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 displayed during Games 6 and 7 of the NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors.
A young Kings team needed experience in its rotation, and Lyles–a player who has been a 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 Kentucky product became a fan favorite due to his notable hustle and ability to make the right play.
Trey Lyles’ strengths & weaknesses
Lyles has a strong basketball IQ, turning the ball over just 0.4 times per game while playing like a starting-caliber forward off the bench (did not start one game over 74 appearances).
In today’s NBA, games are often won and lost on the perimeter. Lyles has proven that he can knock down the long ball during his NBA career, as the eight-year veteran holds a 34.2 percent average from beyond the arc during his time in the league.
Over two seasons with Sacramento, Lyles has seen his marksmanship ability develop even further.
- 2015-21 with Utah, Denver, and San Antonio: 34% 3PT on 2.6 attempts per game
- 2021-23 with Sacramento: 36% 3PT on 3.1 attempts per game
Another one of Lyles’ strengths is his ability to play multiple positions, something that can come in handy for Kings head coach Mike Brown when he navigates opposing lineups and head-to-head matchups.
While Lyles is primarily used as a power forward, Brown will likely call on the 6’9 forward to slide over the center position when Sacramento faces small-ball lineups like Golden State.
Scoring the basketball around the rim is another one of Lyles’ strengths, as the forward shot 69 percent on 120 attempts near the rim during the 2022-23 season.
As is the case for all players on the Kings roster not named Davion Mitchell, Lyles’ defense will be an area that needs to improve in 2023-24.
Lyles posted a career-worst 116 defensive rating in 2022-23, although his teammates weren’t much better during a season that saw Sacramento finish with the fifth-worst team defensive rating in the NBA.
The Kings don’t need Lyles to make an All-Defensive First Team type of impact, but forward progress in becoming a better defender is needed from each player on the roster.
What to expect from Trey Lyles in 2023-24
As for what fans can expect from Lyles during the upcoming season, you can bank on seeing the returning forward as a key part of Mike Brown’s rotation.
Lyles, whose $8 million salary ranks seventh on the Kings’ roster, is likely to be one of the first players off the bench in 2023-24.
Expect Lyles to log minutes behind Keegan Murray and Harrison Barnes at the power forward position, with minutes also coming at the five in specific matchups that feature small-ball lineups.
After playing 16.9 minutes per game in 2022-23, it’s possible Lyles sees a slight dip in playing time if rookie forward Sasha Vezenkov can get comfortable with the NBA game speed, but it’s expected that number 41 will be an integral piece in the blueprint for this upcoming season.
Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule
- Sunday, October 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 5 PM PST (Preseason Opener)
- Wednesday, October 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7 PM PST (in Anaheim, CA)
- Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
- Wednesday, October 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
- Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST
Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule
- Tuesday, October 24th – NBA regular season begins
- Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM (Season Opener)
- Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM (Home Opener)