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Syracuse NBA Draft 2017 Profile: PF Tyler Lydon

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The only surefire Orange draft pick could wind up going to any number of teams.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NBA Draft’s nearly upon us. So beforehand, TNIAAM will be breaking down each of the Syracuse Orange basketball players that could be selected on June 22. Today, we start with the most obvious draftee, power forward Tyler Lydon.

Name: Tyler Lydon

Position: Power forward

Height: 6-foot-9

Weight: 223 lbs

Hometown: Elizaville, N.Y.

NBA Draft Projections: Depends on who you ask...

Most pundits have Lydon going in the first round, as you’ll notice below. But a couple have him falling down into the second at this point.

He’d probably fit in pretty well with the Blazers or Jazz from a cultural standpoint, and more importantly, from a team need perspective as well. Brooklyn could be the best opportunity above, however, since it probably gives him the best chance to break into the rotation early.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Last Year’s Stats: Scored 13.2 points per game, and added 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while averaging 36 minutes. Lydon took about two more shots per game in 2016=17 than he did the previous year, resulting in just a slight dip in terms of field goal percentage. He also got to the line more, and raised his free throw rate all the way to 83.6 percent.

Game to Watch: These were all losses last year, but any one of the Georgetown, North Carolina or Notre Dame games, respectively. Tyler scored 24 points or more in all of them, and was also pretty efficient from the floor. In the Hoyas game, in particular, he shot 92.3 percent on 13 shots, and pulled down nine boards. That was about as close to him routinely creating offense for himself as you’ll find in Lydon’s college tape.

Combine Performance: He performed reasonably well in the actual tests of his skills, versus some of the less impressive raw measurables (like the puzzling body fat number).

  • Body fat: 13.6%
  • Hand length (inches): 8.75
  • Hand width (inches): 8.75
  • Height (w/o shoes): 6’8.25”
  • Height (w/ shoes): 6’9.5”
  • Standing reach: 8’11.5”
  • Lane agility time (seconds): 11.68
  • Standing vertical leap (inches): 29.5 (four inches better than Thomas Bryant)
  • Max vertical leap (inches): 33.5 (which was half an inch better than Bryant)

Team Workouts: Among the ones I’ve seen publicized — Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz.

Pros

Despite not being incredibly “big,” Lydon was a force on the boards for Syracuse when he got aggressive enough. His leaping ability, as indicated in the marks above, is a huge plus and that athleticism is sure to entice scouts are the league. We all know his jumper’s fairly reliable from any distance, even with the occassional (short-lived) cold spell mixed in. The arc he can put on a shot is a huge asset not to be overlooked. At the college level, he was able to create a lot of mismatches -- however that will be a bit more limited as a pure four in the NBA. He’s a quality free throw shooter, which is a nice selling point for someone at the power forward or center position.

Cons

If Lydon were ever to show himself to be a more aggressive player, these workouts would’ve been a great time to do so. He can move without the ball, but can’t always get physical enough to create space for himself with his body (that said, his length helps there). He’s rarely one to create his own shot, which was probably noticed by scouts watching tape. Also, given his lack of real ball-handling skills, he’ll need to play the four, and that means bulking up. He has the upside to be a stretch forward and a matchup problem down the road. It just depends on the resources a pro team wants to dedicate to grooming him toward becoming that player down the road.

Syracuse v Virginia Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Fun Fact(s): Tyler was one of our most fun players we’ve had in a while. A sampling of some of the best Lydon things to happen in his two years at Syracuse —

He also got a puppy while at SU, and now has a pretty intense wolf tattoo on his chest.

TNIAAM Draft Prediction: Late 20s or so seems reasonable at this point, so let’s go with the conservative estimate and say 30th to the Utah Jazz (rather than 24th to the Utah Jazz).

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