Spurs Sign Forward Trey Lyles

JULY 12, 5:41pm: The signing is official, according to a team press release.

JULY 11, 6:39pm: The Spurs have reached a contract agreement with free agent forward Trey Lyles, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). It’ll be a two-year deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Jabari Young of The Athletic adds (via Twitter) that it’ll be worth about $11MM in total.

Lyles will be joining the Spurs in place of Marcus Morris, who tentatively agreed to a two-year, $19MM contract with San Antonio but will instead be signing a one-year, $15MM deal with New York. Wojnarowski suggests that the Spurs pulled their offer to Morris, but the veteran forward had reportedly been re-evaluating his options for at least a couple days.

Lyles is coming off a down year in Denver, having posted just 8.5 PPG and 3.8 RPG with a shooting line of .418/.255/.698 in 64 games (17.5 MPG). However, he flashed promising stretch-four potential in 2017/18, when he posted marks of 9.9 PPG and 4.8 RPG on .491/.381/.706 shooting.

The Nuggets originally tendered him a qualifying offer, but rescinded that QO after they acquired Jerami Grant in a trade with the Thunder, making Lyles an unrestricted free agent.

The Spurs had initially planned on signing DeMarre Carroll using their mid-level exception, but restructured that agreement to acquire Carroll via sign-and-trade, sending Davis Bertans to Washington and opening up the full mid-level for Morris. With that deal no longer happening, I’d expect Lyles to be signed using some of that MLE, though specific terms aren’t yet known.

Lyles may not provide the same sort of immediate impact that Morris would have, but he’s still just 23 years old and his ’17/18 performance suggests he has room to improve.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 thoughts on “Spurs Sign Forward Trey Lyles

  1. x%sure

    He had a great future a year ago! Denver getting Jeremi Grant and keeping Millsap made him expendable bit I think he was anyway. I did not see a good pairing with Jokic (he is kind of in his own world IMO) but then I did not remember him at all this past year.

  2. hiflew

    Better than Marcus Morris anyway. It didn’t work in Denver, but if anyone can bring it out in Lyles, it will be Pop.

  3. formerlyz

    Spurs will make him a legit player in my opinion, although the Morris situation is kind of dumb.

  4. x%sure

    So how will Pops word it if Lyles has a better year than Morris…
    Neener neener Knicks and weiner!

    Probably not but a fun thought.

    • Sheldon Bowen

      Hard to blame Morris. After he signed that cheap deal with the sun’s with his brother and they traded him, I can understand when another team comes and offers more money. Hope it works out for everyone

  5. Lyles is another victim of AAU culture, one and done and the super recruiting classes they spawn, as well as the anti-development culture of the NBA. This is a nice spot for him to maybe recover. He doesn’t need to replace what Morris may have provided, just what Bertans actually did. Not the elite shooting (at least not on that level), but a stretch 4 with great length and real skills. Sometimes, less is more.

    • actually

      he shot like 25% from 3 last year and I think both Morris and Bertans were north of 40%, I know Bertans was for sure

      • x%sure

        Yes the year before Lyles was at 38% with an 18PER at age 22 (and I thought he would break out and replace Millsap or be traded for KLove).

        So… whats it going to be TL

    • Jason Lancaster

      Eh,I don’t think you can argue the Nuggets neglected his development. They invested a lot to acquire him, and they have developed other players in the time Lyles was with the team. Utah too.

      I think the problem is basketball IQ. He’s got great tools, but he doesn’t quite get it yet.

      • Eh, who said the Nuggets “neglected” his development-?

        First, the NBA (the entire league, from its historical perspective to its salary rules) isn’t set up to develop players. They have to improve in the area before they start drafting HS players again.

        Second, players aren’t developed by coaches in the gym (despite myths you may have bought into). It happens on the court via roles, minutes, expectations and accountability. No organization can provide the necessary things to every player they draft or trade for. They are finite. Specifically, here, the Jazz over drafted him, and had no idea how to use him, they wanted him to be a post player. Denver did know who he was, and they had a role carved out and Lyles had a very good first year in Denver in that role. It expanded as Millsap struggled with injuries. For more reasons than I can name, the necessities weren’t there last year. Denver’s job is to win games, not develop any particular player. Not neglect. Just life in the land of organizations that bring in lots of talented young players. Stars will always get their opportunity. But guys like Lyles are sometimes are at the mercy of circumstances.

      • x%sure

        I’m not sure anymore what that even means; IDK how dumb Lyles is. I’m sure he’s been taught everything in the “book” like everyone else has. But I’m saying he didn’t learned a person, Jokic, or probably, anyone else, and never thought he had to– Just run the plays, look for your shot, and key off the PG. But there’s no book on teammates, you have to engage.

        It seemed to me that PG Murray was increasingly running the offense through Jokic to the point where Murray no longer ran the offense possibly on his own initiative. Murray could move faster without the ball and I suspect he likes getting a step advantage more than being the point man. Of course Jokic was good for it. And Denver did make rare, faster movements with less dribbling.
        As such, all the cues and norms for players would have changed. But Lyles did not make the adjustment for whatever reason and got left behind.

        IDK if Malone directed or even wanted that much change in the system. I never heard of a Malone plan like Budenhofer had a plan. Opposing changes would slow Lyles’ adaptation.
        Maybe Lyles was just grumpy!

        Spurs will have at least one true PG on the court, maybe two, to set up Lyles and fix that.

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