SALT LAKE CITY — The biggest news surrounding the first day of the Utah Jazz’s summer league training camp had nothing to do with any of the participating players.
It was about the guy not in attendance.
Rookie Trey Lyles did not attend Friday’s morning or afternoon training sessions because of a delay in signing his contract. It remains uncertain whether he'll even play in next week's Utah Jazz Summer League.
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey explained that the team will wait to sign Lyles in order to maintain a smaller salary cap hold, which might help the organization sign a free agent or engage in a trade.
Currently, Lyles’ cap hold is at 100 percent of the rookie salary scale, which is $1,866,500 for the 12th pick of the 2015 draft. However, the Jazz will sign him to the maximum amount of 120 percent of that rookie scale, as most NBA teams do with rookies.
That means that when the Jazz sign Lyles, his first-year salary and cap hold will be $2,239,800.
Until that happens, Utah has an additional $373,300 that it could use in potential deals.
As Lindsey put it, the Jazz view this delay as a “cap float time” to allow them to have conversations with other teams and/or free agents.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Lyles, who recently finished his freshman season at Kentucky, will have to wait to begin working out with his new team.
“I love my job 99.99 percent of the time. There are small times where it’s not as fun, and this is one,” Lindsey said. “This is self-imposed. … That’s on me. Don’t blame the kid at all.”
Lindsey said Lyles’ camp has been updated and that “Everything’s fine” between the two parties. He also completely understands why Lyles is not participating until the contract is finalized, shifting the blame on himself multiple times.
It’s uncertain, the GM added, when the versatile forward will be able to sign his contract and begin his Jazz career.