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2017 NBA Draft: Denver Nuggets select Tyler Lydon with the 24th pick

The former Syracuse star found his way into a first round selection.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the 24 pick of the 2017 NBA draft, the Denver Nuggets (via a trade with the Utah Jazz) selected former Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon. This continues the streak of Orange selected in the first round.

In Lydon’s two years at Syracuse, he left a substantial mark on the program. From helping assist the Orange in a Cinderella Final Four run during his freshman season to an honorable mention on the All-ACC team this season, he was consistently a standout player.

During his freshman season, he played the sixth man role, even still playing around 30 minutes a game. He averaged an impressive 10.1 points per game and 6.3 rebounds. After graduation of stars and injuries to big men, he entered the starting lineup and became a focal point of the Orange offense. His sophomore season, his minutes jumped to 36 per game and he averaged 13.1 points per game, including around 40% from beyond the arc. In conference play, he averaged around 14 points per game and nine rebounds.

He was predicted to be a late first round, early second round selection by most analysts, with the Raptors, Lakers, Hawks, and Magic all rumored as probable destinations.

After playing in Jim Boeheim’s zone defense for the past few years, Lydon will have to work on his post defense and overall consistency. He was so valuable in college because he was so versatile. He could attack the basket on offense, score in the post up game, or knock down a long range three. This made him incredibly difficult to guard for college forwards.

Yet, in the pros, most forwards are all as or more athletic than Lydon. He will not be able to utilize his off the dribble game as frequently. Although, he has an impressive jump shot for someone of his size which should translate to the NBA. Our friends over at The Blazers Edge wrote:

“While he may never be an above average starter in the NBA, Lydon’s size and shooting ability should help him carve out a spot as reliable supporting player. Most of today’s offenses rely on space, and Lydon’s outside shot is something that sets him apart from most of the big men that will be drafted around him.”

Congrats Tyler and good luck in the NBA!