Trey Lyles

Pacific Notes; Lue, Monk, Lyles, Vezenkov, LeBron, Davis, Vincent

Tyronn Lue called his team soft after a 3-6 stretch late last month. The Clippers got the message, reeling off three consecutive victories for the first time since early February, Law Murray of The Athletic writes. They’ve defeated Philadelphia, Orlando and Charlotte during the winning streak.

The Clippers will finish off a four-game road swing at Sacramento on Tuesday. “Getting a win however you’ve got to get it is the most important thing, but we’ve still got a lot to build on and get better with,” Lue said. “We’ll take the win. The Philly and the Orlando games were two good games that we needed – two gritty wins, tough wins on the road. And then (Sunday), just sticking with it even though we didn’t do a good job defensively.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kings coach Mike Brown said they’ll use a committee approach to replace Malik Monk, who is sidelined with an MCL sprain. “You can’t replace Malik,” Brown said, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “That’s tough. He did a lot for us and he could easily start for a lot of teams, but he was on the floor a lot of times down the stretch in our games, so to think that one person is going to come in and replace him, it’s not possible, so we have to do it by committee. It’s just the next guy up, and if your number is called, you have to go play within what you do and play your role as best you can.”
  • On the flip side, forwards Trey Lyles and Sasha Vezenkov were back in action for the Kings during Saturday’s win over Utah, Anderson notes. Lyles, who hadn’t played since March 12 due to a left knee sprain, had 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot. Vezenkov, who missed 22 games with a Grade 3 right ankle sprain, added five points, two rebounds, one assist and two steals in 10 minutes. “The size just helps especially on the glass, and both those guys, whether they come up with it or not, they’re battling,” Brown said. “They’re hitting bodies. They’re guys who are both used to taking big shots. They both are really, really good 3-point shooters. You’ve got to guard them outside that line, so it opens up the floor a little bit more for everybody else. “
  • Anthony Davis (left knee) and LeBron James (left ankle) are listed by the Lakers as questionable to play against Toronto on Tuesday, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. Jarred Vanderbilt (foot sprain) and Cam Reddish (personal reasons) will miss the game, as will Gabe Vincent (left knee injury recovery). Vincent returned to action on Sunday after being sidelined for over three months due to knee surgery and had two points in 14 minutes against Brooklyn.

Kings’ Trey Lyles Out At Least Two Weeks With Knee Sprain

Kings forward/center Trey Lyles, who sustained a knee injury in Tuesday’s victory over Milwaukee and was subsequently ruled out for Wednesday’s game, has been diagnosed with a MCL sprain in his left knee, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. The team announced that Lyles will be sidelined for at least two weeks, which is when he’ll be reevaluated.

As Anderson writes, Lyles will likely miss at least eight more games, including Saturday’s contest vs. New York. Rookie forward Sasha Vezenkov will also miss his 15th consecutive game tomorrow, though Anderson suggests the former EuroLeague MVP could be close to returning from a right ankle sprain. Kevin Huerter (right leg contusion), who was out Wednesday, is questionable for Saturday’s game.

Lyles is a key reserve for a Sacramento team that has won four of its past five games and is currently the No. 6 seed in the West. The 28-year-old is the primary big man off the bench, averaging 7.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG on .450/.383/.698 shooting in 49 games (19.8 MPG).

With Lyles sidelined, backup centers Alex Len and JaVale McGee will likely have an opportunity to earn rotation minutes. Assuming he returns soon, Vezenkov is another frontcourt option head coach Mike Brown could turn to.

Lyles re-signed with the Kings on a two-year, $16MM contract last summer. He’ll be earning $8MM next season before hitting free agency again in 2025.

Kings Notes: Losing Streak, Rotation, Murray, NBAGL Team

The Kings remain in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race with a 23-18 record, but they’re in the midst of their worst stretch of the season, having dropped a fourth consecutive game on Thursday. While road losses in Philadelphia and Milwaukee last Friday and Sunday were understandable, Sacramento blew a big fourth quarter lead in Phoenix on Tuesday and fell at home to a depleted Pacers team last night.

“It’s a lot of little things that are turning into big things,” Keegan Murray said of the Kings’ on-court issues, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

One of those issues is free throw shooting. The Kings’ 72.5% rate from the foul line this season is easily the NBA’s worst mark and the team made just 25-of-44 (56.8%) free throws in its past two losses.

“That’s two games in a row we shoot 50% from the free throw line,” head coach Mike Brown said on Thursday. “I’m not sure what it is. Today we shot more free throws in a shootaround than we ever have in a shootaround since I’ve been here. And yesterday, we shot more free throws in a practice than we ever have since I’ve been here.”

“You go back to the work. You get in the gym,” wing Kevin Huerter said. “You’ve got to build your confidence by trusting the work you put in. We shot ourselves in the foot. This is the third game in a row this has happened against three good teams. It feels like it’s all self-inflicted and that’s why it’s frustrating for us. It’s no secret. We can’t miss 14 free throws at home and expect to beat a team that’s this good, even with the players they have out. That’s stuff that we can control.”

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • Despite the losing streak, Brown seems to have settled into a rotation he likes, with Huerter back in the starting five and Malik Monk, Trey Lyles, Sasha Vezenkov, and Alex Len playing regular minutes off the bench, notes Anderson. “I hate to say this, but I feel fairly comfortable (with the current rotation),” Brown said prior to Thursday’s loss. “Now, that doesn’t mean I may not change again with the way our rotation is right now, but I feel fairly comfortable with what we’re doing right now, and I’m going to ride with it a little bit and give it an opportunity.” Davion Mitchell, Chris Duarte, Keon Ellis, and JaVale McGee are among those not seeing regular playing time as of late.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic outlines why the Kings consider Murray essentially untouchable in trade talks, writing that the team views the former No. 4 overall pick as a player who could round out a long-term big three alongside Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. “Keegan is a huge part of our future,” Brown said. “We rely on him for a lot and, to a certain degree, it is a little unfair. Because we’re a playoff team. There aren’t many guys that are in year two that are expected to do what he does.”
  • Anjali Ranadive, the daughter of Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, has stepped down from her position as the general manager of the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s G League affiliate announced today in a press release. She’ll be pursuing a Ph.D. and focusing on her non-profit organization while assistant general manager Gabriel Harris takes on the day-to-day GM responsibilities in Stockton. “We are grateful to Anjali for her contributions to the Stockton Kings over the past two seasons,” Kings GM Monte McNair said in a statement. “Under her leadership the team has excelled on the court and is set for success in the future.”
  • In other Stockton news, the Kings’ G League team added a former NBA first-round pick earlier this week, announcing in a press release that veteran swingman Shabazz Muhammad has joined the roster. The No. 14 pick in the 2013 draft, Muhammad last played in the NBA in 2018 for Milwaukee, but continues to try to make it back to the league.

Seventeen More Players Become Trade-Eligible

Today is Monday, January 15, which means that a total of 17 players who signed free agent contracts meeting specific criteria this past offseason are now eligible to be traded.

Most offseason signees became trade-eligible on December 15, but players who met the following criteria were ineligible to be moved for an extra month:

  1. The player re-signed with his previous team.
  2. He got a raise of at least 20%.
  3. His salary is worth more than the minimum.
  4. His team was over the cap and used Bird or Early Bird rights to sign him.

The following players met that criteria and are eligible to be traded as of Monday:

(* Players marked with an asterisk have the ability to veto trades.)

Most of the players on NBA rosters are now eligible to be moved, though a small handful still can’t be dealt. That group includes Heat guard Dru Smith, who becomes trade-eligible on Monday, Hornets guard Ish Smith (trade-eligible on January 24), Lakers star Anthony Davis (trade-eligible on February 6), and Pistons forward Kevin Knox (trade-eligible on Feb. 8).

There are also several players who won’t become trade-eligible prior to this season’s February 8 deadline, including stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and Jaylen Brown. Players on 10-day contracts are also ineligible to be dealt.

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Lyles, Murray, Reddish

After losing six consecutive games, the Clippers have reeled off three straight victories, and they feel encouraged by their recent play, as Janis Carr of The Orange County Register relays.

I think we’re in a good place. We kind of know at this point what the rotation is, and I think we’re getting in a rhythm,” Paul George said. “There’s consistency there, and I think that we’re in good shape. We liked how we looked offensively and defensively, and now it’s time to test it.”

The Clippers have been incorporating multiple new pieces after the trade to acquire James Harden and P.J. Tucker, plus the signing of reserve center Daniel Theis. Still, while they’ve played better of late, their past two victories came against the Spurs, who have the worst record in the West at 3-12. The upcoming schedule is more challenging, and Kawhi Leonard says there’s always room for improvement, Carr notes.

We want to win every game and it shows that we’re getting better,” Leonard said after Wednesday’s win in San Antonio. “But like you said, we still got a lot to learn and to get better at. You guys could see at the end of that game, we had some careless turnovers, and they got some easy looks at the basket and wide-open layups. So, we got to buy in and figure that out.”

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Kings big man Trey Lyles, who had been dealing with a calf strain, made his 2023/24 season debut in Wednesday’s loss to New Orleans. Head coach Mike Brown said Lyles would immediately resume playing a similar amount of minutes as last season despite the layoff, according to Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). The 28-year-old finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes — he averaged 16.9 MPG in ’22/23.
  • Part of the reason Lyles played 28 minutes is because Kings forward Keegan Murray was sidelined with lower back soreness. Murray’s status for Friday’s contest in Minnesota is “uncertain,” but the injury isn’t expected to keep him out long term, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter link).
  • Cam Reddish‘s MRI was “clean,” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham told reporters, including ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link). Reddish, who was sidelined for Wednesday’s game with a groin injury, is considered day-to-day. Max Christie got the start in his place.

Injury Notes: Embiid, Nets, Lyles, Fultz, LeVert

Sixers center Joel Embiid will be sidelined for Wednesday’s game in Minnesota due to left hip soreness, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

While Embiid has been frequently impacted by injuries over the course of his career, there’s no indication at this point that his hip issue is a cause for any real concern. Wednesday’s contest is the second night of a back-to-back set and it will be the first game that the reigning MVP has missed this season. He played 41 minutes in Tuesday’s overtime loss to Cleveland.

Here are a few more injury-related notes from around the NBA:

  • Nets guard Ben Simmons (back nerve impingement) is making progress in his recovery and has begun “light individual court work,” but he’ll be sidelined for at least seven-to-10 more days, the team announced today in a press release. Brooklyn offered a more positive update on Cam Thomas, who has made “significant improvement” in his recovery from a left ankle sprain and has been cleared for increased on-court work. He’s expected to be integrated into team activities next week, according to the club. Guard Dennis Smith Jr., meanwhile, is day to day with a lower back sprain.
  • Kings forward Trey Lyles, who has yet to play this season due to a left calf strain, appears to be on the verge of his season debut. According to Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee, Lyles is expected to be active on Wednesday vs. New Orleans, while Keegan Murray (lower back soreness) will likely be ruled out. Both players were listed as questionable in the NBA’s most recent injury report.
  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz is unavailable for a seventh straight game on Wednesday vs. Denver due to left knee tendinitis, tweets Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel.
  • In addition to missing Donovan Mitchell for the past three games, the Cavaliers have also been without Caris LeVert, who is dealing with knee soreness, for their past two contests, tweets Chris Fedor of The Cavs haven’t missed a beat without the two guards, however, and are currently riding a four-game winning streak.

Injury Notes: Alvarado, Lyles, Mitchell, Beal, Hornets

Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado is getting “really close” to making his season debut, head coach Willie Green said on Friday, per Christian Clark of (Twitter link). Alvarado, who has been sidelined for the first few weeks of the season due to a right ankle sprain, missed Friday’s in-season tournament game against Denver but has been upgraded to questionable for Saturday’s contest vs. Minnesota, per the team (Twitter link).

While Alvarado has a chance to return on Saturday, forward Zion Williamson will be getting the night off on the second night of a back-to-back set, according to the Pelicans. Williamson’s designation is “rest,” so it sounds like there’s no new injury there — it’s just a matter of the team being cautious.

Here are a few more injury-related notes from around the NBA:

  • Kings forward Trey Lyles tells Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee that he expects to make his season debut at some point during the team’s current road trip, which continues on Sunday in Dallas and wraps up next Friday in Minnesota. Lyles has been unavailable so far this fall due to a calf injury, but has progressed to 3-on-3 work and says he feels “great,” adding that he’s mostly focused now on improving his conditioning.
  • While it doesn’t appear to be a cause for any significant concern at this point, Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell missed a second game on Friday due to a right hamstring issue. Mitchell also sat out on October 28 due to right hamstring soreness, notes Chris Fedor of
  • Suns guard Bradley Beal was listed as probable to play on Wednesday before being downgraded to out and then ruled out for at least three weeks due to a low back strain. Head coach Frank Vogel explained on Friday that Beal turned out not to be back to 100% when he made his season debut and playing in games was impeding his recovery process. “We want to put this thing behind him,” Vogel said, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link). “Playing in the games was slowing down his progress for really trying to put this behind him. We don’t want to do the ‘play a game, be out a game, play a game, be out a game.'”
  • The Hornets continue to be beset by injuries, as big man Nick Richards left Friday’s game due to concussion-like symptoms and has now been placed in the concussion protocol and ruled out for Saturday’s contest, per the team (Twitter link). In other Hornets injury news, Terry Rozier, who is sidelined due to a left groin issue, has yet to resume practicing, notes Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).

Injury Updates: Curry, Martin, Kyrie, Celtics, Harris, Lyles, Hornets

The Warriors will be without Stephen Curry (knee) for at least one more game. The team announced in a press release (via Twitter) that Curry won’t play on Thursday vs. Oklahoma City.

However, the Warriors’ official statement confirmed that an MRI on Curry’s sore right knee showed no structural damage, which is what head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on Tuesday. The plan is for the 35-year-old to be reevaluated later in the week, according to the club.

Here are a few more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • After missing the last 10 games due to left knee tendinosis, Heat forward Caleb Martin has been listed as available for Thursday’s game vs. Brooklyn, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Martin hasn’t played since Miami’s regular season opener, but will rejoin a team riding a six-game winning streak.
  • Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, who was originally listed as questionable, will miss Wednesday’s game in Washington due to a sprained left foot, head coach Jason Kidd told reporters, including Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links). “Left foot is bothering him, sore,” Kidd said. “We’re just not taking any chances.”
  • The Celtics will be without a pair of key starters for their Wednesday showdown with Philadelphia. The team has ruled out Jaylen Brown (illness) and Kristaps Porzingis (right knee contusion), tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN.
  • Magic wing Gary Harris, who has missed the last five games due to a right groin strain, is listed as available for Wednesday’s game vs. Chicago, notes Dan Savage of (Twitter link). Harris averaged 18.6 minutes per game in Orlando’s first four contests this season before getting hurt in the fifth.
  • Kings forward Trey Lyles has been cleared to resume basketball activities, sources tell Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 Sacramento (Twitter link). Lyles hasn’t played yet this season due to a left calf strain and will require a reconditioning period before being activated.
  • Hornets forwards Gordon Hayward (hamstring) and Brandon Miller (ankle) both missed Tuesday’s game, but head coach Steve Clifford doesn’t sound concerned about either injury, writes Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Clifford said the team was being cautious with both players – especially Hayward, whose hamstring could turn into a “four-to-six” week injury by not playing it safe – and that he’s hopeful both will be back in action on Friday.

Pacific Notes: Paul, Warriors, Ellis, Fox, Lyles, Kings

Logan Murdock of The Ringer takes an in-depth look at the WarriorsChris Paul experiment, writing that the future Hall-of-Famer was eager to acclimate to his new team as soon as Golden State acquired him over the summer. The 38-year-old point guard is coming off the bench for the first time in his career, which he says is a work in progress.

It’s figuring it out,” Paul told Murdock. “It’s going to be a process, but at the same time, you want to win in the process.”

According to Murdock, Paul’s first few months with the team have “brought harmony” to the Bay Area, as opposed to the poor locker-room chemistry of last season. Paul has been a connector both on and off the court, with several members of the organization showing appreciation for his leadership and elite basketball IQ.

He connects all the lineups,” Stephen Curry told Murdock earlier this month. “He’s a gamer, a competitor, he lives and breathes basketball. And even at his age, he knows how to influence games with his brain and his IQ.”

Paul’s contract for 2024/25 is non-guaranteed, so his future with Warriors is uncertain. However, as Murdock writes, the 12-time All-Star has made an excellent first impression.

It’s been cool, man,” Paul said. “In anything, as you get older, you learn things, you appreciate things more, and I think more than anything, we’re competitors before anything. So I’m excited to see what we all can do.”

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • The Warriors are tired of comparing this season’s team to the 2022/23 group, but Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic says it’s impossible not to notice the difference. Despite dropping Wednesday’s game to sit with a 6-3 record, Golden State battled the defending champion Nuggets to the wire in Denver, displaying a toughness that was often missing last season, Thompson writes. The Warriors have gone 5-2 on the road amid a tough early schedule, a “stark contrast” to the team’s 11-30 road record in ’22/23.
  • Second-year guard Keon Ellis, who is on a two-way contract with the Kings, received his first career start in Wednesday’s victory over Portland, which snapped a three-game losing streak, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Ellis replaced former lottery pick Davion Mitchell in the starting lineup, with both players filling in for De’Aaron Fox, who continues to be sidelined with a right ankle sprain. Ellis will start again on Friday, tweets James Ham of ESPN 1320 and
  • Prior to Friday’s game against OKC, Kings head coach Mike Brown told reporters, including Ham (Twitter link), that Fox and Trey Lyles are making progress in their recoveries, but there’s no return timetable for either player. Lyles, who is battling a left calf strain, has yet to make his season debut.

Injury Notes: Kyrie, Thunder, Mann, Lyles

After missing the last two games due to a sprained left foot, Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving has been upgraded to available for Friday’s game vs. the Nuggets, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The Mavericks are the only undefeated team left in the Western Conference, but will face a tough matchup in their first in-season tournament game tonight as they visit the defending champions in the altitude of Denver, so they’ll be happy to have Irving back in their lineup.

Here are a few more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • There’s good and bad news on the injury front for the Thunder. Center Jaylin Williams will be available for the first time this season on Friday after having been sidelined with a right hamstring strain. However, star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is among the team’s unavailable players vs. Golden State due to a left knee sprain (Twitter links via Rylan Stiles of Locked on Thunder).
  • Clippers guard/forward Terance Mann, who has yet to play this season due to what the team is calling a sprained left ankle, said in a YouTube video that he “overstretched” a muscle or “maybe tore it a little” (hat tip to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times). Mann added that there’s no timeline for his return and he’s still focused on trying to reduce the swelling in the ankle.
  • The Kings have ruled out forward Trey Lyles for at least two more games, the team announced today (Twitter link via Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee). Lyles, hampered by a left calf strain, has yet to suit up for Sacramento this season.