With the 12th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz have selected freshman forward Trey Lyles. Lyles is one of the most skilled players in this draft. So skilled, in fact, that coach John Calipari played him out of position at small forward this season, just to get him on the floor.
At 6-10, 240 pounds with a 7-4 wingspan, Lyles has an ideal frame for an NBA power forward. Lyles showed potential in the pick-and-pop game, as he shot 39.2 percent on two-point jumpers last season. Lyles also has a refined post game on the low block, using a soft touch with either hand to score. Lyles also has patience when attacking and solid passing ability on offense.
However, some of Lyles’s weaknesses were masked while playing on a loaded Kentucky roster that only saw him on the court for 23 minutes per game as a freshman. How will Lyles react when playing against bigger, more athletic opponents on a nightly basis? Lyles is only an average athlete, lacking quickness and speed to defend elite athletes at the power-forward position, and he’ll need to add strength to help him make up for his deficiencies.
Overall, Lyles looks like an ideal, skilled NBA stretch 4. Lyles has plenty of room to grow as a player once he gets his body in ideal shape, and should be a fine NBA player in time. His bread-and-butter will be his post game as he enters the league, and he should make an impact immediately offensively upon his arrival as a bench guy behind the talented young starting frontcourt in Utah.
NBA comparison: Carlos Boozer
2014-15 stats: 8.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.1 apg (48.8 FG%, 73.5 FT%)