While he played for the Syracuse Orange, we knew exactly how Tyler Lydon fit into the team dynamic. He didn’t always play as aggressively, or create his own shot as much as we wanted him to, sure. But he was a reliable presence on the boards and a quality shooter. His athleticism was an asset that we had spurts of excitement over. Lydon was also a fun player to have as part of the program.
I’m no Nuggets fan -- though some of you may be from Carmelo Anthony’s time in the Rockies -- so I enlisted the help of Evan Fiala, of SB Nation’s Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs, to guide us through exactly how Lydon fits in with his new team.
His responses are below (we also provided some responses to questions over there).
How do Nuggets fans feel about the pick? Be honest, we're cool if you're skeptical. A lot of people were before the draft.
Honestly, I've never seen so many hot takes. Nuggets fans were disappointed but I think that's more of the circumstances under which Lydon was drafted more so than who he is as a player. A lot of people believed that OG Anunoby was going to fall to 24, so when Toronto picked him it frustrated some fans, and then to pass on some more well-known players for Lydon might have just been too much, especially after the Nuggets already acquired a power forward in Trey Lyles.
Personally I wasn't super thrilled about it, but I really like Lydon's offensive game and I think with time he can be a good role player.
How does Lydon fit in with the Nuggets' current roster?
The short answer: he doesn't, at least with the way the roster is set currently. With Lydon (and Lyles), the Nuggets now have seven players who can play at the four, either in a traditional power forward role or as a stretch, where the Nuggets arguably play their best basketball. Clearly there is some consolidation to take care of, but this also means that Lydon likely won't see the floor much, if at all, as a rookie.
The other issue is that Denver is already a great offensive team but one of the worst at defense, so drafting a player who probably won't help much on that end of the floor initially will make it tough for him to find minutes. Expect him to be more of a long-term project for now.
Are Denver fans still bitter about former Syracuse player Carmelo Anthony's departure enough to hold it over Lydon, too?
(Haha) At some point you just have to let things go! I'm sure there are fans who will make that connection and brood over it, but c'mon, it was seven years ago and Carmelo was up front about it. He enabled Denver to actually get a return from his departure when he very well could have played the season out and left for nothing. I would hope that no one is holding something so far in the past against a player who was only 14 years old when it happened.
Not exactly the most encouraging picture for this season, but Evan seems at least cautiously optimistic about the future. With Denver drafting two power forwards, you’d have to think that something on this roster shifts a bit -- in terms of the veterans. So we’ll have to keep an eye on things during the offseason. It wouldn’t make a ton of sense to see Lydon on the move after the Nuggets traded for him. But Summer League should tell us a lot about whether he’s in Denver or G-League-bound this fall.
Nuggets fan, or just want to weigh in on Lydon’s fit with Denver yourself? Share your own thoughts below.