For the second season in a row Utah Jazz forward turned down an invite to represent his country in their on-going Olympic bids. (For those who want a recap, they got the Silver in the Pan Am Games, the Bronze in FIBA Americas, and Silver in their bracket for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament -- one more win in each tournament may have gotten Canada over the hump. Instead they'll be watching it from home.) And for the second season in a row, Lyles has instead elected to play for the Jazz in Summer League. But unlike last season, where a contract snaffu prevented Lyles from signing in time to suit up for games in Utah, this year he came out on a mission.
As the "probably only" actual NBA level talent on his team he's had to channel all of the shoot first / ask questions later forwards in basketball history and call his own number. Sometimes he brings the ball up the court. Sometime he posts up. Other times he'd found outside with his feet set.
The end result has been a player who has played in five of the team's six games, and is averaging 23.8 ppg and 9.0 rpg so far this summer. He's been impressive with his outside shot, making 3.0 threes a game and shooting 45.5% from deep. He hasn't been impressive with his playmaking -- averaging just 1.4 apg with a 0.41 to 1.00 assist to turn over ratio. Of course, I contend that he if was on the team with other NBA players these values would look different. But as it stands, he's decisive with the ball -- which is what you want from a potential game changing 20 year old.
There are some warts to his game still, but by the numbers he's really doing what you expect from a first option. Will he assume that role with the bench, or will he have to play second or third fiddle in primacy with, (or ), and all likely to also not start?
Whatever the case may be, he's had some nice Summer League games so far.
That doesn't equate to stardom, but it's better when your lottery picks are beating up on other teams in the summer league, it's better than the opposite where they struggle. So while Team Canada would surely have been assisted with Trey playing for them, it's fair to say that he probably helped himself more by working on his game in Utah and with the Jazz coaches this July.