Nuggets extend qualifying offer to Trey Lyles

Denver Nuggets forward Trey Lyles (7) drives to the basket as he is defended by Atlanta Hawks guard Tyler Dorsey (2) during the first half at State Farm Arena.
Dec 8, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Trey Lyles (7) drives to the basket as he is defended by Atlanta Hawks guard Tyler Dorsey (2) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Denver Nuggets have extended a qualifying offer to Trey Lyles making him a restricted free agent.

As a restricted free agent, any team could offer Lyles an offer sheet, but Denver would have three days to match. The Nuggets could also pull their qualifying offer — which is $4.5 million — at anytime between now and July 13th which would make Lyles an unrestricted free agent.

There are a couple reasons that Denver could pull their qualifying offer. Those two reasons are Michael Porter Jr. and Vlatko Cancar. If Porter Jr. And Cancar perform well in Las Vegas prior to the July 13th deadlind, it could spell the end for Lyles time in Denver.

Extending a qualifying offer to Lyles became more of a necessity after the team picked up Paul Millsap’s $30 million team option earlier today. With the Nuggets picking up Millsap’s option, it put a limit on Denver’s options in an already thin free agent pool at the power forward position.

Considering how few stretch power forwards are on the market, Lyles could be given an offer sheet by a team looking to take a chance on a young prospect. Lyles is still just 23 years old and has shown that he has a very versatile offensive skill set for his size.

In 64 games last season, Lyles averaged 8.5 points per game, but shot just 25 percent from three-point range. This came a year after Lyles shot 38 percent from distance and an extremely efficient 49 percent from the field.

Lyles’ future with the Nuggets will become more clear over the next few weeks. Once Denver has a chance to evaluate Porter Jr. and Cancar at summer league, and if any teams make a play for Lyles in free agency, the decision making process will be accelerated.

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