Tyler Lydon has an NBA skill set with his size, length and ability to stretch the defense with his jumper. After a push to the Final Four last March, many thought there was a chance the then freshman would depart for the NBA. As we now know, he’d forego the draft to return to Syracuse for his sophomore season.
Many pundits now consider Lydon to be a first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Although there’s a chance he could go in the lottery, the general consensus is that Lydon is a mid to late first-rounder. With this in mind, the TNIAAM staff gathered to weigh in on the propisition of Lydon departing for the NBA.
Simply, does he stay or does he go?
I'm saying Lydon leaves. The Orange are going to make a run in March that will be mostly because of Lydon. He's going to get hot from beyond the arc and leave as a lottery pick.
I think Lydon goes this year and here's why:
No he's not the most physically mature and no, his game is not at a level I'd call NBA ready. But more and more he's demonstrating a high basketball IQ, something that only guarantees his ceiling grows. He continues to show in games that he's able to match up with players bigger than him down low while being able to guard and ball handle at the perimeter. Factor in the weak draft class and Syracuse's continued success and he's only going to continue climbing the boards until he's in the lottery.
I think if Lydon stays in the 15-20 range, he'll probably leave. The rule changes will help him because he can go to the Combine and be sure if he's a "lock" for the first round. While he can certainly improve if he returns, I'm not sure it would make a difference to his draft stock. It wouldn't shock me if he did return but I don't think anyone with a first round standing should come back to college and play for free.
Lydon to the NBA after this season is a really interesting discussion. He went through a shooting slump in the beginning of the season, but has really turned it up of late. His skill set is undeniable, and right now he’s projected anywhere from 19-21 in most credible mock drafts. I don’t know how much more he can improve his draft stock, especially with so many underclassman that are more athletic and have higher upside/potential. The situation he’s in right now may be best-case scenario for his future, which leads me to believe it’s right around 70-30 that he leaves after this season.
I think we can expect Lydon to depart for the Combine to see where he stacks up against the rest of the 2017 draft class. I have a feeling teams will be intrigued — if they’re not already — when he measures in. Lydon has great length and height with an impeccable jumper. He’s a prototypical stretch-4 at the next level. He’ll have to show teams that he has the ability to defend one-on-one and that he can makes plays off the bounce, but he has an NBA skill set right now. I think coming back another year would only marginally increase his draft position, reaching a level of diminishing returns. Ultimately I think he goes to the draft. For what it’s worth, I’d like to see him stay but that’s just wishful thinking.
Lydon is currently averaging 13.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. He’s doing all this by shooting 50 percent from the floor, 43 percent from three and 81.2 percent from the free throw line. That’s pretty darn good.