With rumors swirling about Trey Lyles and his current draft position, the New York Knicks supposedly have heavy interest in the former Kentucky freshman, so much that the team is strongly considering drafting him with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
So, Who exactly is Trey Lyles? Is he worth all the hype?
Lyles took a backseat to fellow Kentucky big men Dakari Johnson, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Karl-Anthony Towns for the 2014-15 season, but shouldn’t be overlooked. The 6’10 power forward averaged 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for a loaded Wildcats team.
One of Lyles’ main strengths is his ability to play away from the paint. He has great ball-handling skills and is capable of putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket. Lyles also possess great footwork, an attribute which benefits his improving post game. In addition, he is able to hit the mid-range jump shot, a crucial part of the modern-day NBA power forward.
If Lyles will reach his full NBA potential he is going to need to work on his defense. One of the main issues for Lyles is a lack of athleticism. He doesn’t have the ideal leaping ability for someone his size, making it extremely difficult to grab offensive and defensive rebounds and box out.
The Knicks have been enamored with Lyles throughout his brief time in Kentucky. Phil Jackson spent time in Lexington scouting Lyles, so the team has done it’s due diligence on the big man. However, it’s a stretch the team drafts him at four.
There is simply a greater amount of talent ahead of Lyles for him to be selected so high.
The final decision belongs to Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks coaching staff. It makes sense to trade out of the pick, but if they want to make sure they get their man, then the fourth pick is already a forgone conclusion.