Tyler Lydon NBA Draft Profile

Tyler Lydon, Sophomore, Forward, Syracuse
Tyler Lydon could have been a fringe first round pick after his freshman year at Syracuse but decided to return to try to raise his draft stock. Lydon’s shooting ability will be the most important skill that he brings to the NBA. Lydon’s size, standing 6’10”, mixed with his shooting efficiency (40% from 3 in two years at Syracuse) make him a prototypical stretch four at the NBA level. Teams can use Lydon as a pick and roll weapon as he can either dive to the rim or pop outside and knock down a jumper. Lydon can also run around screens to catch and shoot on the move. He’s a smart off-ball player as he consistently puts himself in position to get off an open shot. He has an effective shot fake that he uses to attack defenders, but he isn’t able to create his own shot often. He has a loose handle and shoots a substantially lower percentage on jumpers off the dribble.
In the paint, Lydon isn’t as much of a threat on offense. He is capable of using his athleticism to finish emphatically in space, which he does often in the open floor. However, his lack of strength shows up often down low. He has solid footwork and touch around the rim, but his post game suffers as he isn’t very physical and is mostly limited to a right-hand hook shot. As a rebounder, Lydon is a mixed bag. When aggressive, he can grab offensive boards in space using his athleticism and is a constant threat for a put-back slam. However, he has below average numbers defensively for someone his size, averaging just over six defensive rebounds per game.
Lydon is a mature, high IQ player who consistently makes heady, winning plays. He keeps his head up with the ball and will make simple passes within the flow of the offense. He is an extremely unselfish player, almost to a fault. On a Syracuse team that was limited in depth, Lydon was expected to play a major role, but he only averaged 13.2 points on about nine shots per game while playing a whopping 36 minutes a game. NBA teams will have to determine if Lydon can be more than just an open jump shooter at the next level.
Defensively, Lydon is likely the biggest mystery in the draft due to Syracuse’s zone defense. Lydon is an intelligent off-ball defender and covers ground well to get blocks and steals. However, Syracuse’s zone hides his on-ball struggles. Lydon has been exposed at struggling to close out on shooters and will allow quicker players to blow by him on the perimeter. Most of Lydon’s blocks come in scenarios like this where he chases players down from behind as opposed to traditional rim protection. In the post, Lydon’s lack of strength and mediocre wingspan shows up. Lydon will likely be asked to defend power forwards in the NBA, where he could be bullied in the post.
Final Projection:
Tyler Lydon projects as a late first round pick that a team can develop into a useful stretch four at the next level. Right now, Lydon is a lethal jump shooter when left open, but he will have to develop a consistent shot off the dribble when ran off the line. Lydon will also need to add strength so that he isn’t a liability in the post on both ends of the floor. On defense, it will likely take time for Lydon to transition from playing zone all the time to playing an NBA man defense. With his size and shooting ability, Lydon will get his opportunity in the league, but he will need to expand his game to have a lengthy career.