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Tyler Lydon Selected in 2017 NBA Draft, Jazz to Trade Him to Nuggets

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2017

SYRACUSE, NY - FEBRUARY 13:   Tyler Lydon #20 of the Syracuse Orange gestures to the crowd at the start of overtime against the Louisville Cardinals at the Carrier Dome on February 13, 2017 in Syracuse, New York. Louisville defeated Syracuse 76-72 in overtime. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Syracuse power forward Tyler Lydon was selected with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz tweeted about the pick:

Utah Jazz @utahjazz

We have selected Tyler Lydon out of Syracuse with the 24th pick. #JazzDraft https://t.co/Ins94ylbJk

Lydon's Jazz career will likely be over before it ever began. The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Denver Nuggets traded the No. 13 overall pick for the 24th overall selection and Trey Lyles.

Fellow Syracuse alumnus Tyler Ennis congratulated Lydon:

Tyler Ennis @TylerEnnis

Congrats @Tyler_Lydon14 #Cuse

Syracuse.com's Brent Axe noted how the Orange have experienced some success in recent drafts:

Brent Axe @BrentAxeMedia

Tyler Lydon's selection to @nuggets (via Utah) at No.24 means @Cuse_MBB has a first-round pick 6 straight years. Along w/ Duke and Kentucky

Altitude Sports' Chris Dempsey and NBA TV provided a brief scouting report for Lydon:

Chris Dempsey @chrisadempsey

Lydon will be a true stretch 4. Can shoot the 3 and shoot it from deep.

NBA TV @NBATV

The NBA TV crew react to the @utahjazz selecting Tyler Lydon with the #24 pick. LIVE #NBADraft reaction NOW on NBA TV! 🏀📺 https://t.co/zjyjf64Lx6

SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside was surprised to see Lydon likely ending up in Denver since the Nuggets added Lyles as well:

Ridiculous Upside @RidicUpside

Kinda weird that the Nuggets drafted Tyler Lydon since they just traded for Trey Lyles, who is just basically a much better version.

Lydon spent two seasons at Syracuse, averaging 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in his sophomore campaign. In many ways, Lydon is the prototypical modern NBA power forward, as he's an excellent perimeter shooter who made 39.8 percent of his three-pointers in college and excels as a spot-up shooter.

On the other hand he isn't a great athlete, which potentially will hurt him on the defensive end, nor is he particularly physical or effective closer to the basket. 

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report aptly broke down Lydon's offensive game in a pair of tweets:

Jonathan Wasserman @NBADraftWass

Just wish Lydon was tougher around the basket

Jonathan Wasserman @NBADraftWass

Lydon's release shooting off those screens is awfully quick and fluid

And Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress noted that Lydon "remains an intriguing prospect who still has some room to grow as an offensive weapon," adding that "the proliferation of the three-point shot in the NBA has created a niche for forwards like Lydon who can space the floor and will readily fill a role."

As for Lydon's defense, Kamalsky wrote, "His defensive potential at the next level is a bit of a question mark as his inconsistent presence on the glass and lack of length to defend the power forward spot could certainly limit him in certain matchups."

The question with Lydon, then, will be what additional skill he can provide in the NBA to go along with his spot-up shooting. Can he add enough strength to become a solid rebounder or a better offensive weapon in the post? Can he overcome some of his physical and athletic deficiencies to become a serviceable defender? Can he become more effective creating his own scoring opportunities off the dribble?

If he can refine his game, Lydon could become a solid role player in the NBA and have a long career. The fact that he already looks the part of the modern stretch 4 means he should be able to establish a role for himself with Denver. Whether he can turn that role into something more than limited minutes off the bench will depend on how quickly he addresses his weaknesses.

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