Syracuse is in elite company with at least one player drafted in the first round in for the sixth straight year, joining college basketball blue bloods Duke and Kentucky as the only teams to have a first round pick in every draft since 2012. Former Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon was selected by the Utah Jazz at 24 overall and was then dealt to a familiar team for Orange fans, the Denver Nuggets. Lydon came off the draft boards a little earlier than many experts saw him going and achieved what many had hoped for him; going in the first round.
To all of the Syracuse fans who still hold a grudge against Lydon for deciding to go pro after just two years in college, watch this video, posted by the Syracuse Basketball Twitter account, which shows Lydon’s reaction after he learns that his dream is now a reality.
— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) June 23, 2017
The question that many Orange fans may have now is where Lydon will fit in on the Denver Nuggets roster. The Nuggets really only had two small forwards on their roster last season, with Mike Miller and Danilo Gallinari. Well, Gallinari has a player option on his contract and could become a free agent this year. Lydon played plenty of center in college but it really is hard to see him playing anything other than the three in the Association. He very well may get a shot right out the gate in the big leagues.
Now, as for the negative side of the NBA Draft. Former Syracuse guard Andrew White III, who spent his final year of eligibility on the Hill, went undrafted. Granted, giving Syracuse players’ lack of recent success when taken in the second round, this may be a blessing in disguise. White was far from the only elite college player who found themselves still waiting for their name after the Draft ended. Former Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes and Maryland guard Melo Trimble were both left off the Draft board, but both have already signed with a team for the summer. Surely, one would have to figure that White will get a shot on someone’s Summer League team, at the very least. With a bit of luck, he can get himself invited to someone’s training camp and attempt to wow a team there. It may be the smallest of surprises that White was not called on Thursday night but his journey in basketball is far from over.