DraftExpress | ESPN | NBADraft | Stats | Wiki
Power Forward | 6’10 | 240 | Kentucky
Projected: Mid 1st round
Best Case: Ryan Anderson
Most Likely: Jon Leuer
Worst Case: Ryan Kelly
After playing as an oversized small forward in Kentucky’s platoon rotation last season, Trey Lyles may well be seen as a potential steal in this draft. He will be a power forward in the NBA and if he extends his range out to the three point line as widely predicted, he could be another in the procession of stretch 4s heading to the league. For GMs looking to grab talent in the middle of the first round, Lyles must be an attractive proposition. Here’s a guy who was an elite prospect coming out of high-school then somewhat underachieved in limited, out-of-position minutes with the best college program in the country. He could’ve stayed at Coach Cal Prep. to build his value in a bigger role next season but instead has taken the earliest opportunity to make the leap to the NBA. That type of write up should have any team’s development personnel drooling, so I’m sure he won’t drop far from his current borderline lottery position.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure Lyles is going to make a good return on the investment of time or resources a team will inevitably pour into him. The offensive talent is there – he can shoot, pass, put the ball on the floor, but then so can Kyle Anderson and he didn’t look stellar in his rookie campaign despite being a more polished, complete article. ‘Well, his nickname is SloMo and he has no position’, you might respond, which is true enough however those same complaints also apply to Lyles. He’s mobile enough but certainly not quick for a power forward and whether he can guard anyone in the league is an open question. Guys like Ryan Anderson and Kevin Love have overcome similar deficiencies by becoming exemplary offensive players, but that’s a high standard to attain.
For the Blazers, we’re now clearly hitting the point in the draft where a trade up would be required and the cost would likely be non-trivial. As with Bobby Portis, Lyles has some qualities that might appeal in a post Lamarcus scenario, but I don’t think the production would justify the cost. If he were to drop for some unforeseen reason, he’s a tempting talent grab at our current slot but (this could come back to haunt me) I would still favour the likes of Justin Anderson or Delon Wright.
N.B. Yet another Canadian forward set to be drafted in the first round. The infiltration continues.