Washington Wizards: 3 potential targets in 2019 NBA free agency

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /
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Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images /

1. Trey Lyles

This 12th overall pick in 2015 is just 23 years old and has loads of potential. The former one-and-done from Kentucky has been a project since the day he was drafted but has not had the opportunity to display his tools. He was traded after two seasons with the Utah Jazz for Donovan Mitchell, and will want to balance out a deal that looks very one-sided right now.

He stands 6’10”, can shoot well from deep and moves his feet well for a player his size. He has never seen more than 20 minutes per game of playing time. Lyles can earn $4.5 million from the Denver Nuggets after they extended his qualifying offer to try to bring back their entire Western Conference semifinals roster.

Though Lyles had a bad year shooting the 3-ball this year at 25.5 percent, he had shot over 38 percent in two of his previous three years. If last year’s shooting was a fluke, then he becomes a very enticing player.

Lyles has many guard skills in his game. He can handle the ball pretty well and even has isolation ability on the perimeter. His shooting stroke forces defenders out to the perimeter and opens up his driving ability.

He is decently quick for his size. He can run in transition but is not a great defender. His ability to move his feet keeps him in front of most of the bigger players he guards. However, Lyles is not the strongest player on the court. In the modern NBA, this is less of an issue as more and more power forwards are playing out on the perimeter.

This big man would fit in well with the Wizards as a stretch-4. Since rookie Rui Hachimura and new point guard signee Ish Smith are not top-notch shooters, Lyles would space the floor really well while Smith and Bradley Beal handle the ball.

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Last year Bobby Portis’ shooting ability helped the offense and surprised Wizards fans as well. Lyles can be that guy from the perimeter this season, among other things. His ability to space the floor and his high ceiling should be tantalizing to Washington’s front office. He may also be a relatively cheap option for this young, nearly broke, team, though the Nuggets have the power to match any offer sheet.