Trey Lyles

Pacific Notes: Reaves, M. Williams, Lue, Kings

He’s unlikely to get any votes, but Austin Reaves still appreciated the “MVP” chants from Lakers fans Sunday night, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Reaves came off the bench to deliver 35 points in a narrow win over Orlando that lifted L.A. into a tie for ninth place in the tight Western Conference playoff race.

“For them to recognize what I do — obviously not an MVP-caliber player, those guys are really good — but for them to do that for me is special, it means a lot to me,” he said.

It was a career-high scoring night for Reaves, but it wasn’t out of character. Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times points out that Reaves has become a dependable part of the offense since LeBron James was sidelined by a foot injury three weeks ago. He has failed to reach 13 points just once since James got hurt, and he has helped the Lakers post a 6-5 record without their star.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns coach Monty Williams indicated that rotation changes may be coming after Sunday’s loss at Oklahoma City, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Williams was frustrated after watching a double-digit lead slip away in the fourth quarter. “This one’s on me,” he said. “I’ve got to get guys in the game that can create a rhythm, especially on defense. We’re giving up way too many 30-point quarters, consecutively. That’s on me. I have to figure out the guys who can play together defensively as opposed to the starters to increase the momentum from an offensive and defensive standpoint.”
  • Associate head coach Dan Craig picked up his first win guiding the Clippers Sunday night, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Craig was filling in for head coach Tyronn Lue, who was able to coach the team on Saturday, but didn’t make the flight to Portland because of a non-COVID illness. Craig said Lue is expected “back soon.”
  • The Kings didn’t have shooting guard Kevin Huerter and forward Trey Lyles in Saturday’s win over Washington, and both are listed as questionable for tonight’s contest at Utah, notes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Huerter has a strain in his right knee area, while Lyles is experiencing soreness in his right shoulder.

NBA Suspends Kings’ Trey Lyles, Fines Bucks’ Brook Lopez

Kings forward Trey Lyles has been suspended for one game without pay and Bucks center Brook Lopez has been fined $25K for their roles in an on-court altercation between the two teams in Sacramento on Monday, the NBA announced today in a press release (Twitter link).

During the final seconds of the Bucks’ win over the Kings, Lyles took exception to Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbling the ball toward him while running out the clock. He tried to steal the ball away, then shoved Antetokounmpo. Lopez jumped to his teammate’s defense, resulting in a brief on-court skirmish between the two teams (Twitter video link via Bleacher Report).

Both Lyles and Lopez were ejected from the game, and the NBA said in today’s announcement that the two big men were disciplined further for escalating the situation — Lopez did so by confronting Lyles, then the Kings forward escalated matters further by “striking Lopez in the face” and “grabbing and holding Lopez around the neck area.”

As a result of his one-game ban, Lyles will miss Wednesday’s game in Chicago and will forfeit about $18K, which is 1/145th of his $2.63MM salary for the season.

Lopez’s $25K fine will come out of his $13.9MM salary for 2022/23.

Bucks Notes: Giannis, Lopez, Portis, Kings Skirmish

While Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid may end up as the top two finishers in MVP voting this season for the third consecutive year, Bucks general manager Jon Horst wants to make sure voters don’t overlook two-time winner Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Speaking to Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Horst expressed a belief that Antetokounmpo is suffering from “greatness fatigue,” with voters getting accustomed to the eye-popping numbers that the star forward is putting up. Antetokounmpo is averaging a career-best 31.5 points per game in 53 games this season to go along with 11.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists per night while playing at an All-Defensive level. At 49-19, the Bucks have the NBA’s best record.

“He’s also doing this playing less minutes than anybody, which is remarkable. That’s a sacrifice,” Horst said of Giannis, who is averaging just 32.5 minutes per contest. “That’s an intentional sacrifice by him to give our team the best chance to have the deepest playoff success possible.

“That’s not an easy thing. That’s something that he does so he’s ready to perform at the biggest moments. Give the guy 36, 37, 38 minutes a game, there’s not even a conversation. Obviously you can see I’m very strong (on this) and I believe it.”

Here’s more on the Bucks:

  • In his conversation with Owczarski, Horst also made cases for Bobby Portis as the Sixth Man of the Year and Brook Lopez as the Defensive Player of the Year. “He contests more shots than anybody,” the Bucks’ GM said of Lopez. “His blocks are league-leading. He does it without fouling. … The guy is absolutely deserving of an award this year. I think it all matters. The reason that I think this team has been really good even though we’ve had a lot of other moving parts has been his consistency. He’s an anchor for us and he plays every night. And he’s gotten better. This guy is having a career year. It’s incredible.”
  • A panel of writers at The Athletic – David Aldridge, James L. Edwards III, and Josh Robbins – debated the current Defensive Player of the Year frontrunners and all submitted hypothetical three-man ballots that included two Bucks players. Edwards has Lopez first and Antetokounmpo second in his DPOY rankings, while Aldridge placed Lopez and Giannis second and third and Robbins had Lopez and Holiday as his two runners-up (both Aldridge and Robbins made Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. their current DPOY pick).
  • Antetokounmpo and Lopez were among the players involved in a scuffle during the final seconds of the Bucks’ win over the Kings on Monday night. As Marc J. Spears of ESPN writes, Kings forward Trey Lyles took exception to Giannis dribbling the ball toward him while running out the clock and tried to steal it before shoving Antetokounmpo, resulting in a brief on-court skirmish between the two teams (Twitter video link via Bleacher Report). Lopez and Lyles were both ejected and will likely face additional discipline in the form of fines, if not suspensions. “Giannis could just dribble the ball out,” Kings guard De’Aaron Fox said after the game. “That’s all he had to do, and nothing would have happened.”

Pacific Notes: Sabonis, Bridges, Lamb, Thompson

The Kings improved to 12-9 with a rout of the Clippers Saturday afternoon and they seem to have added another element to their already dangerous offense, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Domantas Sabonis continued his hot shooting from three-point range, connecting on both of his shots from beyond the arc. After starting the season 1-of-12 on three-pointers, Sabonis has hit 8-of-14 in his last 10 games.

“It’s big,” he said. “The more I can keep shooting them and knocking them down, teams are eventually going to have to respect it, which is going to allow me to be even more of a play-maker. A lot of times, I can’t thread the needle because the big is so far down. Now, he has to be up, to open the room up for everybody.”

Sacramento had everyone available today as Trey Lyles returned after missing two games with an illness, Anderson adds. Coach Mike Brown likes having the extra option among his reserves and cited the performance of Terence Davis and KZ Okpala while Lyles was unavailable.

“That just makes our bench deeper,” Brown said. “Trey was playing well when he was playing. Obviously, TD stepped up and played big minutes for us. KZ played some pretty good minutes in the last game. So, it makes my decision making harder, but (Lyles) has been playing his behind off and it’s great to see.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns forward Mikal Bridges, who hasn’t missed a game since entering the league, believes he can continue that streak despite tweaking his right knee Friday night, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix will travel to San Antonio on Sunday, and Bridges is listed as probable. “I think I just hyperextended it a little bit, but I’m all right,” he said.
  • Anthony Lamb has become an important part of the Warriors‘ second unit, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. When Lamb joined Golden State in October, it marked his fourth two-way contract in less than two years, along with one 10-day deal. “He’s a versatile player,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s a quick catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter. The ball doesn’t stop when it hits his hands. When he’s open, he usually gets it off quickly. And he’s shooting it really well. He does a lot of things well that contribute to winning.”
  • Warriors guard Klay Thompson sat out tonight on the second game of a back-to-back, but Kerr doesn’t expect that to continue all season, Poole tweets.

Kings Exercise Trey Lyles’ Team Option

JUNE 29: The Kings have officially picked up Lyles’ option, per RealGM’s transactions log.

JUNE 28: The Kings are expected to exercise Trey Lyles‘ $2.625MM team option for 2022/23, a league source tells James Ham of ESPN 1320 and The Kings Beat (Twitter link).

The 12th overall pick of the 2015 draft, Lyles has bounced between five different teams in his seven NBA seasons, and never really lived up to his status as a former lottery pick. However, he had arguably his best overall season in ’21/22, averaging 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds on .466/.321/.802 shooting across 75 games (20.5 minutes) split between Detroit and Sacramento, so picking up his modest team option was likely an easy decision for the Kings.

Lyles, 26, appeared in 24 games for the Kings last season, including 20 starts, posting a very respectable .489/.365/.851 shooting slash line. He also got to the line at a career-best rate, averaging 3.2 attempts per game on the season in a fairly limited role.

Lyles was part of the trade that sent Marvin Bagley III to the Pistons and Donte DiVincenzo to the Kings at the trade deadline in February. Bagley received a qualifying offer from Detroit earlier today, making him a restricted free agent, but we’re still awaiting word on whether Sacramento plans to tender DiVincenzo a QO.

Sacramento drafted Keegan Murray with the fourth overall pick of the draft last week, and the Kings have Harrison Barnes for the other forward spot, so Lyles is likely to be in a reserve role next season. Given his age and solid production, the power forward should be a decent depth piece as the team attempts to break its long streak of missing out on the postseason.

Lyles will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023 once the Kings officially pick up the option.

DiVincenzo To Kings, Bagley To Pistons In Four-Team Trade

7:14pm: The four-team deal is official, according to a Kings press release.

A press release from the Clippers notes that L.A. also received the draft rights to Vanja Marinkovic from Sacramento in the deal, sending the draft rights to David Michineau to the Kings. The cash going to Milwaukee in the trade comes from the Clippers.

As we previously relayed, the Kings waived Jahmi’us Ramsey and Robert Woodard to complete the move.

10:47am: The Kings are trading former No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III to the Pistons, sources tell Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link), that move will be part of a four-team trade that sends Bucks wing Donte DiVincenzo to Sacramento.

The Clippers will be the fourth club involved in the deal, as Charania reports (via Twitter) that big man Serge Ibaka is headed to Milwaukee. Los Angeles is acquiring swingman Rodney Hood and forward Semi Ojeleye from the Bucks, tweets Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times.

Sacramento is receiving Pistons forwards Josh Jackson and Trey Lyles along with DiVincenzo, per Charania (via Twitter), while Detroit is also sending out multiple second-round picks, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Woj (via Twitter) breaks the deal down as follows:

  • Kings acquire DiVincenzo, Jackson, and Lyles.
  • Pistons acquire Bagley.
  • Clippers acquire Hood and Ojeleye.
  • Bucks acquire Ibaka, two second-round picks, and cash.

The Kings continue to reshape their roster after acquiring Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, and Jeremy Lamb in a trade with the Pacers Tuesday. DiVincenzo ($4.7MM this season) is eligible for restricted free agency in 2022 if Sacramento chooses to give him a qualifying offer, while Jackson ($3MM) is on an expiring deal. Lyles, however, earns $2.5MM this season and has a club option for next season at $2.6MM, giving the Kings some added flexibility.

DiVincenzo has been a solid defender, rebounder, and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He’s had a slow start to this season after recovering from ankle surgery and then entering the health and safety protocols, but he’s a young, controllable asset who likely won’t be too expensive going forward. Sacramento tried to acquire him prior to last season in the botched sign-and-trade that would have sent Bogdan Bogdanovic to the Bucks, but the deal was nullified due to “gun-jumping.” The Bucks ended up forfeiting a second-rounder in the process.

The Kings had reportedly been shopping Bagley for well over a year, as he was drafted by the previous front office regime and was publicly unhappy with the franchise. As a three-for-one trade, the Kings will have to waive two players, unless they make subsequent moves prior to the deal becoming official.

The Pistons are taking a gamble on Bagley, a good athlete who failed to develop in his time in Sacramento. Still just 22, Bagley could have untapped upside and figures to see more minutes on a rebuilding Pistons team. Like DiVincenzo, Bagley will be a restricted free agent in 2022. He’s earning $11.3MM in the final year of his rookie contract this season.

James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link) reports that the Pistons will be sending Sacramento’s 2024 second-round pick and either Cleveland’s or Golden State’s 2023 second-rounder (whichever is less favorable) to the Bucks.

For the Clippers, it’s a cost-cutting move that will save them approximately $30MM in luxury tax payments, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). In order for the deal to work, Ibaka will need to amend a portion of his 15% trade bonus, Marks tweets, which Los Angeles will be responsible for.

Greif reports (Twitter link) that the Clips have been interested in Hood and Ojeleye in the past. Both players are on veteran minimum deals that expire this summer. Moving Ibaka gives more clarity to a crowded center rotation featuring Ivica Zubac, Isaiah Hartenstein, and newly-acquired Robert Covington (in small-ball looks).

By adding Ibaka’s $9.7MM contract and sending out three players, the defending champion Bucks will have three open roster spots (not including Greg Monroe, who’s on a 10-day deal) and add $6MM towards the luxury tax, Marks tweets. The cash they’re receiving will help offset the additional luxury tax payment. The Bucks had been searching for a center for a few months due to Brook Lopez‘s back injury; their starting center has suited for just one game this season.

Ibaka is having a down year after undergoing back surgery himself last summer, but he’s a smart, proven veteran who can space the floor and protect the paint when healthy. The two-second round picks will be key assets for a Bucks team that could be facing the repeater tax for multiple seasons as they contend for more titles.

Rory Maher contributed to this story.

Central Notes: Lyles, Olynyk, Lopez, Caruso

Veteran Pistons big man Trey Lyles appears to be maximizing his time with his new team, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Edwards takes a look at how Lyles, a former lottery pick out of Kentucky, has reinvented himself as a role player with a lottery-bound Detroit club. Lyles discussed his struggles with mental health during his early NBA tenure.

“My first couple years, if my confidence was down, I’d be out there and wouldn’t shoot the ball,” Lyles said. “Over the years, I’ve tried to improve my mental ability to bounce back… I’ve done a lot of work in the offseason on my mental state of mind. Just being confident in who I am as a player is huge.”

Lyles signed a two-year, $5.1MM contract with the club during the 2021 offseason, and has spent most of his on-court time at center.

“[Therapy] has helped me out a lot,” Lyles, still just 26, reflected. “I have a tendency to get in my head. I just want to go out and use my muscle memory. Therapy has helped me in a variety of ways.”

Lyles is averaging 9.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.2 APG across 39 games with the Pistons thus far.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Injured center Kelly Olynyk is excited to return to the court for the Pistons soon, writes Rod Beard of the Detroit News. An MCL sprain has limited Olynyk to just 10 healthy games with his new team. The 6’11” big man has returned to basketball activities during the last few weeks and expects to rejoin the Pistons on the hardwood at some point during the team’s current four-game road trip. “It’s a long process and you can’t cheat any of the steps,” Olynyk said, per Beard. “You just miss it. You miss competing, miss being with the team, all that kind of stuff, especially in today’s world.”
  • Bucks center Brook Lopez has resumed on-court workouts at Milwaukee’s practice facility, writes Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Lopez, 33, has been recovering from a back surgery that has limited him to just a single game of availability this season for the reigning champs.
  • Injured Bulls reserve combo guard Alex Caruso has proven in his absence how valuable he is to the club, posits Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago’s defense ranks 24th during the team’s last 13 games without Caruso. The 27-year-old out of Texas A&M, one of the Bulls’ best defenders, is expected to rejoin the club at some point this week.

Seven Pistons Exit Protocols, Nuggets’ Monte Morris Enters

Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Cory Joseph, Saben Lee, Trey Lyles, and Rodney McGruder have all exited the NBA’s health and safety protocols for the Pistons, James Edwards III of The Athletic relays (via Twitter).

All seven players are listed as out for Saturday’s contest against San Antonio due to reconditioning. The Pistons’ next game after Saturday will be Monday against the Bucks, when several of the players could return to action. Second-year big man Isaiah Stewart is now the lone player still in the protocols for Detroit.

In other COVID-related news, Nuggets point guard Monte Morris has become the fourth Denver player to enter the protocols in the past two days, joining Jeff Green, Bones Hyland, and Zeke Nnaji, per Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter link). Morris has started all 32 of his games this season (30 MPG), averaging 12.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 4.3 APG on a .479/.380/.783 shooting line.

The Nuggets signed Davon Reed to his third 10-day hardship contract Thursday, and reportedly plan to sign Rayjon Tucker to a deal as well.

COVID-19 Updates: Osman, Lyles, Maxey, Kings, Aldridge, Mavericks

If the Cavaliers are able to host the Raptors Sunday afternoon, both teams will have a shell of their normal lineups. Cavs forward Cedi Osman has become the team’s eighth player in the league’s health and safety protocols, tweets Chris Fedor of He joins Jarrett Allen, Ed Davis, Evan Mobley, RJ Nembhard, Isaac Okoro, Lamar Stevens and Dylan Windler.

Toronto’s roster is even more strained, with 10 players currently in protocols. Khem BirchIsaac Bonga, and Justin Champagnie were placed in the protocols earlier today, joining Precious AchiuwaOG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Malachi Flynn, Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr. and Fred VanVleet. Toronto will have to finalize 10-day hardship contracts with at least one more player before game time to reach the league roster minimum of eight.

There’s more COVID-19 news from around the league:

  • Pistons forward Trey Lyles entered the protocols Saturday, becoming the team’s sixth player this week to do so, writes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Lyles is coming off his best game since signing with Detroit in the offseason, posting 28 points, eight rebounds and four blocks Thursday night. Sankofa expects rookie Luka Garza and possibly Jamorko Pickett to see more playing time while Lyles is unavailable.
  • Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey has also been placed in the protocols, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Maxey has taken over as point guard in the absence of Ben Simmons and has started 28 of the 29 games he has played in his second NBA season.
  • Kings forwards Marvin Bagley III and Louis King have cleared protocols and should be available Sunday, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Terence Davis has been cleared as well, Anderson tweets.
  • Nets coach Steve Nash said veteran big man LaMarcus Aldridge has either exited the protocols or is close, but will need time for conditioning before he can resume playing, relays Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Josh Green has joined his Mavericks teammates in Utah after clearing protocols, but won’t be active for tonight’s game, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). He’s expected to be able to play during the rest of the team’s road trip.
  • Mavericks assistant coach Kristi Toliver tweeted on Christmas that she contracted COVID-19.

Pistons Notes: Rotation Changes, Cunningham, Grant, Garza

Fill-in Pistons coach Rex Kalamian had to get creative when Killian Hayes was a late scratch for Tuesday’s game, writes Omar Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Replacing head coach Dwane Casey, who was away from the team on a personal matter, Kalamian inserted veteran guard Cory Joseph into the starting lineup and tinkered with the rotation throughout the game. He found an effective combination in the third quarter with Saben Lee and Trey Lyles, who helped cut a deficit from 22 points to nine.

“Sometimes through injury or through foul trouble, we have to find new rotations and new combinations that’ll work,” Kalamian said. “For us tonight, it seemed like the Trey Lyles-Saben Lee combination really worked for a little while. And even the other three guys, they were feeding into it. They had great spacing, and they were helping out a lot. It’s just one of those things that you gotta keep searching sometimes, keep rotating guys in and out. That’s what I tried to do in the fourth quarter, get combinations to work.”

The Pistons’ plans have been upended by injuries to Kelly Olynyk, who has only played 10 games, and Jerami Grant, who was leading the team in scoring before undergoing thumb surgery last week. Sankofa notes that Friday will mark six weeks since Olynyk suffered a sprained left knee, so he may be close to returning soon.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • With Cade Cunningham entering health and safety protocols, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic looks at how the team will adjust until the rookie can return. Edwards expects Frank Jackson to move into the starting lineup, while Lee should see more minutes off the bench and Josh Jackson may find his way back into the rotation.
  • Trade rumors surrounding Grant stem at least in part from his upcoming eligibility for an extension worth up to $112MM over four years, Edwards writes in a mailbag column. Edwards believes the Pistons want to eventually build around Cunningham, so they’re likely to see what they can get in return for Grant, rather than spend that much to keep him. Edwards also states that general manager Troy Weaver would likely consult with Grant while working out a trade because they have a long relationship that pre-dates Detroit.
  • Second-round pick Luka Garza may see more minutes as the season wears on, Edwards adds in the same piece. Garza’s lack of quickness limits what he can do on defense, but he has already displayed his offensive talents in limited playing time.