Rising Star: Trey Lyles

Getty Images (Nick Laham)

Underrated, Under-hyped

Trey Lyles was selected by the Utah Jazz 12th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. He only had one year of college experience with Kentucky, and did not have all the hype that other teammates like Karl-Anthony Towns, Willey Cauley-Stein, and Devin Booker had surrounding them.

I will be the first to admit that I was a little worried when I heard the news that we drafted him 12th overall. I knew he could play, and was talented, but I did not know a lot about him or his skill set. Jazz fans also spoke out saying he was drafted too high, and was not NBA ready.

Rookie Year

Then the 2015 NBA season commenced. Trey surprised me right off the bat. He could dribble, shoot, pass, and move quickly for a big man. He played a hybrid forward position where he could guard power forwards and even centers, yet had the skill set and athleticism of a small forward. I quickly realized that I was wrong about Mr. Lyles.

Trey finished his rookie year shooting 43% and 38% from 3, and averaged 12.7 PPG, per 36 minutes. He proved to all of Jazz nation that he was worth the 12th pick in the draft, and showed us that his game does translate to the NBA.

Whats Next?

Summer League is happening right now, and after last night’s performance by Trey (26 points & 11 rebounds) he is showing that he is ready for the season to start. Now the question I have been asking others is – should Trey start for the Jazz?. If Trey were to start, who would be benched? Would we sit Derrick Favors? Or would we play Trey at the small forward position and move Hayward to shooting guard?

Either way, having Trey on our team makes us that much better. I think Trey has a bright future with the Jazz and in the NBA. I’m excited to see how well he does in his second year in the league.

– Jesse Thayne

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