Kings Notes: Lyles, Lamb, Nowell, Vezenkov, Ford

Trey Lyles has played for five teams across his eight seasons in the league, but he feels like he’s found a long-term home with the Kings, according to Hunter Patterson of The Athletic. Lyles arrived in Sacramento in 2022 at the trade deadline and became a key contributor as the team ended its 16-season playoff drought last year.

The two sides agreed to a two-year, $16MM contract extension this offseason after Lyles made returning to Sacramento his No. 1 priority, according to Patterson.

Last season, I felt at home with the team, city and the fans,” Lyles said. “But I think it really set in once I signed back. This is the first time in my going-on-nine-year career that I’ve been able to stay in a city for longer than two years. It felt good. … So, that was really the moment it was — not a weight off my shoulders, but kind of a breath of fresh air.”

The 27-year-old forward didn’t make a start for the first time in his career, but he had a consistent role, averaging 7.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.9 minutes off the bench in 74 games.

Trey’s such a good guy,” Kings coach Mike Brown said of Lyles. “He understands what’s right and what’s wrong. He’s going to bring it every day, and he gives us a lot of versatility.”

We have more from the Kings:

  • Both Jeremy Lamb and Jaylen Nowell signed Exhibit 10 training camp contracts with the Kings, Spotrac’s Keith Smith tweets. Sacramento has room to carry one more player on a standard contract for its regular season roster, and Lamb and Nowell are both candidates for that spot, though the Kings don’t necessarily have to carry a full 15-man roster. Those Exhibit 10 agreements provide a way for the Kings to keep one or both of the players in their organization if they don’t make the regular season roster. Both players will be eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if they are waived before opening night and then spend at least 60 days with Sacramento’s G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings.
  • The Kings are high on forward Sasha Vezenkov‘s outside shooting, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Domantas Sabonis called the former EuroLeague MVP the best shooter on the team, while De’Aaron Fox said he was one of the best shooters on Earth. “Man, he shoots the [heck] out of the ball,” Fox said. “It’s crazy. One of our shooting drills, I think it’s like 150 shots, and I think he missed seven. … We want him to be comfortable and we want him to know he has a green light to shoot the ball.” The 6’9″ forward is embarking on his rookie season in the NBA at 28 years old and is expected to have a role right away.
  • Guard Jordan Ford grew up rooting for the Kings, Anderson details in another story, and he’s now getting the chance to suit up for the team after he signed a two-way contract in September. “It definitely feels special today putting on the uniform for the first time, the actual threads,” Ford said. “It feels great and I think it’s something that is going to be great through the whole season, just getting to know all the fans and getting to know all the great people, so I’m excited.
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