The latest in a long line of Syracuse basketball stars to be drafted into the NBA this season was power forward Tyler Lydon. He impressed before joining the NBA, but his start to life in the big league has been pretty slow, and he must be prepared to play the waiting game for his opportunity to shine.
Lydon was taken as the 24th-pick in the first round by the Utah Jazz originally, but he was soon traded to the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets are a young, up and coming team who are trying to find their identity, and because of that, there are sure to be opportunities for him on their roster. However, he may have to wait a while to pick one of those up; they have many power forwards, and many other young players who have been with the organization for longer and are ahead of Lydon in the queue.
After a promising start in Syracuse, Lydon came to life last season, showing he can contribute to a team in many different ways. He led the Orange in rebounds and blocked shots, while finishing second on the team in scoring. Included in those impressive
scoring figures were 23 games where he scored into double figures, and nine double-doubles, all of which made him appealing to a number of NBA teams during the summer. By playing 36.1 minutes per game on average, he also showed his readiness for the NBA, he can play big minutes, play in tight situations and is trusted on the court, all those are key features of a budding NBA player.
The Denver Nuggets are in the mix for a playoff spot right now and also have a chance to win their division. They are currently +1200 with SportsBet to win the Northwest Division, and because of how tight things are, Lydon may have to wait another season to get his chance with the team. Should the Nuggets fall out of contention late in the season then it is highly likely he will be given minutes, but while the team continues to play well, he will be in the G League or on the bench.
While this may be frustrating for Lydon right now, he has to think what is best for his career overall, and getting this small glimpse into NBA life this season will set him up nicely for when his time arrives. He demonstrated in Syracuse that he has the skills required to make the NBA, and now he has to wait for an opportunity to come his way with the Nuggets. They are sure to use him at some point, but that doesn’t look like being anytime soon, due to how the Nuggets have started the season. They are currently second in the Northwest Division, but the top spot is in reach. The Orange program is proud of another NBA product in Lydon and at some point in the future, he is going to be given a huge chance to perform in the NBA for the Nuggets.