It was back in 2012, as the youngest player on the Canadian Junior National Team that NPH first met Trey Lyles.
He was a hyped prospect but played his high school ball south of the border – his family having moved to Indiana from Saskatoon when he was seven. He still claims his Saskatoon roots “wholeheartedly” and loves pointing it out on the map to people who don’t know.
The same reliable jumpshot and fluid play witnessed with the Canadian juniors is even more evident on the NBA stage now playing with the Utah Jazz.
Lyles is thriving on a playoff-bound team in just his sophomore season after Utah called his name 12th overall in the 2015 draft.
Though he started slow averaging just 3.0 points and 3.6 rebounds through the first couple months of his career, he ended up averaging 6.1 and 3.7 that first year. (FULL STATS HERE)
Now in his sophomore campaign his minutes have increased from 17 to almost 21 and his scoring average has risen to 8.4 with a bump in stats across the board.
Those numbers may not jump off the page (except when he led Summer League in scoring!) but that’s not Trey’s role to stuff the stat sheet.
He’s a glue guy, similar to the role he played in an undefeated season cut short for prep-to-pro workshop Kentucky. Lost in the shuffle there playing out of position alongside future first-overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns, and currently behind an established frontcourt in Utah, the 21-year-old has made the most of his opportunities while biding time for the big one.
Lyles also has all the measurables (6’10”, 234 pounds, with a 7-foot-2 wingspan) to be an effective player that lasts a decade-plus, especially in the modern NBA with the need for big men that can shoot and space the floor for slashing guards.
He has length, strength, and quickness, especially for his position and he’s also got veteran forward Boris Diaw to train him as one of the craftiest players of his generation. He can shoot off the catch, is dangerous in the corners, and put the ball on the floor and handle comfortably.
And occasionally he’ll grab the headlines and you’ll never expect it. That’s Trey!