While the San Antonio Spurs didn’t get their top choice at the time, Trey Lyles may be a better fit for the future of the organization than Marcus Morris would’ve been.
The San Antonio Spurs‘ relatively quiet free agency period got very intersting in the second wave of the open market, but not for the right reasons.
The Spurs got their top target right away in signing DeMarre Carroll to a two-year deal, but with Marcus Morris still on the market they decided they wanted to add another versatile forward to their roster.
In order to get that done, San Antonio had to send Davis Bertans to Washington in a sign-and-trade that included Carroll, and they had to give the soon-to-be 33-year-old forward a three-year contract to consumate the deal.
That gave San Antonio the financial flexibility to sign Marcus Morris, who then backed out of an agreement with the Spurs in order to take more money on a one-year deal with the Knicks.
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San Antonio was forced into plan B, which included signing Trey Lyles who had previously been renounced by the Denver Nuggets.
While the Spurs were certainly disappointed to miss out on someone with Marcus Morris’ talent, the Lyles signing actually lines up much better with the timeline of the promising young core that is growing in San Antonio.
Even though Lyles has been in the NBA for four seasons, the 23-year-old forward out of Kentucky is actually a year-and-a-half younger than Derrick White, who just turned 25.
With a 22-year-old Dejounte Murray, a 20-year-old Lonnie Walker, a 25-year-old Bryn Forbes, a 23-year-old Jakob Poeltl, and two 19-year-old first round rookies, the Spurs’ young core now goes eight deep when you include Lyles and White.
This group of players is also well-balanced with backcourt and frontcourt talent, and San Antonio’s young core has plenty of promise on both ends of the floor.
Lyles certainly has holes in his game on the defensive end and his three-point shot comes and goes, but he still has plenty of room to grow with one of the best player development staffs in the entire league.
He may not be as good of a fit with the current squad as Marcus Morris would’ve been, but the next great Spurs team will probably not come from this current generation led by DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.
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Instead, San Antonio gets to turn their focus forward to the future while remaining competitive in the present with this move, and they may have added another essential piece to their already-promising group of young players.