6:50pm: The Jazz have officially signed Lyles, the team announced.
4:06pm: Trey Lyles, this year’s No. 12 overall pick, has agreed to sign his rookie scale contract with the Jazz, reports TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter link). That a first-round pick would do so is not usually news, as the existence of the rookie scale usually resolves all meaningful negotiation, but the sides had been struggling to hash out details, as GM Dennis Lindsey acknowledged. The Jazz still haven’t made any formal announcement. The Jazz are giving him four years at $10.4MM, according to Aldridge, who appears to be rounding up from $10,386,049, which is 120% of his scale amount and the most Utah can pay.
Utah could have paid the Rich Paul client as little as 80% of rookie scale, but that would be highly unusual for a lottery pick. Lindsey suggested that the hangup had to do with cap holds, and indeed, many teams with the flexibility to open cap room wait to sign their first-round picks. The Jazz entered July with about $49MM in guaranteed salary and have since reportedly struck a two-year, $4.5MM deal with Joe Ingles, and apparently are poised to sign draft-and-stash point guard Raul Neto, too. The cap hold for Lyles will jump from $1,866,500 to $2,239,800 when he signs for 120% of the rookie scale, so the Jazz would retain a touch of financial flexibility if they wait.
Lyles hasn’t participated in any summer league games or practices for the Jazz so far, likely a matter of consternation as Utah revives its in-house summer league this year. It’s not uncommon for draftees to appear in summer league games even before they sign.
Just how the combo forward’s game will translate to the NBA remains a mystery, as Arthur Hill of Hoops Rumors wrote in his prospect profile of one of the many University of Kentucky players in this year’s draft. Still, he has an intriguing mid-range game and was the ninth-best prospect this year, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress ranked him 18th. Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors had him going 13th in his last mock draft.