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2017 NBA Draft Profile: Tyler Lydon

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An in-depth look at the Syracuse University’s Tyler Lydon.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Syracuse
Draft hopeful Tyler Lydon, projected as a late first round pick.
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The SLC Dunk team is profiling all the prospects who could be in the neighborhood of where the Utah Jazz are drafting at pick #24. The four categories that we’re making our evaluations are Strengths, Weaknesses, Jazz DNA, and Fit.

NBAdraft.net lists Tyler Lydon’s NBA comp as Nikola Mirotic, a productive backup big who plays around 24 minutes per game. Not a bad kind of player to get with a late 1st round pick... assuming Lydon reaches his full potential. Absolute best-case scenario is Ryan Anderson, which is unlikely. His much more likely his ceiling is Matt Bonner. Dead-eye shooter off the bench for 5-10 minutes. Although, as a pick in the mid- to late-20’s, he’s just as likely to flame out.

Strengths

Shooting, shooting, shooting. 40% from 3, 84% from the free throw line. Lydon shot 43.2% in catch-and-shoot situations this past season. He has legit NBA range. Can shoot efficiently in the pick and pop game, or coming off screens off the ball.

Decent passer for his position. Makes the right pass out of the PnR catch when defense rotates.

Quick breakdown of one of the sets that Syracuse ran to get Lydon good, open looks from three:

Double screen for the ball handler, followed by Lydon faking a pin-down for the wing in the weakside corner, after which Lydon uses a pin-down from the center, giving him an open look for a three.

PG brings the ball up, with the wings setting up in each corner. The two bigs set up a double screen at the top of the key. [fig1] (I know this isn’t a standard NBA court. I had trouble finding blank templates online, and didn’t want to use a crappy paint version.)

Fig 1

The ball handler uses the double screen to move across the defense. After setting the initial screen, Lydon stunts towards the corner (it was the strong corner to start the play, but now that the ball has moved it is the weak corner) to set a pin-down screen for the wing, who cuts towards the incoming screen to sell the action. [fig2]

Fig 2

Lydon turns away from the fake screen to come back towards the ball, wrapping around his own pin-down screen from the center. Uncontested catch and shoot for three. [fig3]

Fig 3

Beautiful basketball.

The draftexpress scouting video breakdown on Tyler Lydon shows this play, starting at 4:16.

Weaknesses

Tiny hands. Only 4 guards at the combine measured smaller hand widths. Only two big men (players listed as PF, C, or PF/C) recorded smaller hand lengths.

Poor wingspan and standing reach for position.

Soft body. Lydon’s body fat% was the highest at the combine (13.6%)

Effort. Lydon doesn’t have a great rebounding rate and struggles with physical play on both ends of the court.

Discipline. He has a tendency to gamble for steals, leaving the defense exposed. His closeouts are frequently too slow, which gives the shooter time to set up his shot, or out of control, which leaves room for a blow-by.

Jazz DNA

Lydon does not seem like a “Utah Jazz” type of player. Based on his body fat%, weight, and mental/intensity lapses in-game, I see a lot of red flags regarding his work ethic and drive to improve. He’s a skilled shooter, but on and off the court, his effort seems to be lacking.

Fit

If Lydon can put on 15 pounds of muscle and get his body composition right (somewhere in the 5-10% body fat range), *and* if his on-court discipline and effort are more consistent, then he could be a great fit as a change-of-pace stretch big in the mold of Ryan Anderson or Matt Bonner. Lydon has been playing basketball for long enough that I think a change in work ethic or off-court habits is unlikely.

The Utah Jazz should ...

Not draft Tyler Lydon, because they already have a soft-bodied power forward who can’t rebound or defend.