The Denver Nuggets have selected Tyler Lydon with the 24th pick in the 2017 NBA draft. The Nuggets’ night began with the team trading the 13th pick for the 24h pick and Trey Lyles from the Utah Jazz. To analyze this pick, the Stiffs are here to answer four big questions.
What type of player do you see Tyler Lydon being in the NBA?
Gordon Gross (@GMoneyNuggs): Am I allowed to go with, “a poor one?” He can shoot college threes, but with a build like the Pillsbury Dough Boy I’m not sure how open he’s going to be in the NBA. Does Ryan Anderson with no rebounds sound good? He can jump a little but has no lateral quickness that I’ve noticed, so playing him next to Jokic is a terrible idea. He and Trey Lyles (the other addition in this trade) are basically the same guy at the same position (though Lydon has some more shooting touch). I don’t understand adding one player like that let alone two.
Zach Mikash (@ZachMikash): I would say I expect Lydon to be fairly similar to Trey Lyles...ironically enough
Mares: Shooting is as important as any individual skill in the NBA and Lydon can shoot the ball. He has an incredible feel for the game and the game is moving toward favoring smart, capable shooters that can run complex motion offense. The question for Lydon, as it will be with the entire Nuggets roster, is can he play defense? But my guess is Nuggets fans fall in love with his offense fairly quickly.
Ashley Douglas (@AshleyNBAHoops): I see Tyler Lydon being a good offensive asset for the Nuggets, and when Gallinari leaves he can be a candidate for filling that role as he grows. Unfortunately, he won’t be a defensive presence for the Nuggets and that’s going to be a problem. Overall, I think the Nuggets took a gamble moving to the 24th pick, and they made a plan B option, and that’s never a good place to be.
Daniel Lewis (@minutemandan): He was probably the backup plan to TJ Leaf. He’s a stretch four, with a similar frame and style to Juancho Hernangomez. I don’t think he’ll ever be a starter.
How much do you expect Trey Lyles to play next season?
Lewis: I think that there is an opportunity for him to play 20 minutes a game, in a backup role. He’s in just his third season, and he’s only played 2500 minutes total in his career. The Nuggets will be able to see what they have in him before deciding whether to sign him to a new contract once his rookie deal expires in two years.
Douglas: Honestly, I don’t think that Lyles plays with Denver next season. I think acquiring Lyles is part of a bigger move by the Nuggets. However, if he does end up staying I think 15-20 minutes off the bench is the best he’s going to get. However, Lyles doesn’t help the Nuggets on the defensive end whatsoever, which doesn’t solve any of the Nuggets current problems.
Mares: I assume this means the Nuggets are looking to trade one of their power forwards, either Darrell Arthur or Kenneth Faried. If not, how on Earth would all of them make it into a rotation? Strange night so far. I don’t think Lyles will play too much.
Gross: He’s the backup shooter that Arthur has been, but he doesn’t play defense even for a defensive-minded team, so I’m not sure what he’s going to do at the 4. Hoping that he meshes with the 24th pick, basically. It means roster shuffling, but we knew that has to be on the agenda this offseason. HAS to. He and Lydon will be fighting for minutes as the third power forward off the draft in garbage minutes at this point, and that’s a terrible place for them - and the Nuggets.
Mikash: I think at this point you probably think he fills in that backup PF position that Darrell Arthur pseudo filled last season. Though I’m concerned he’ll play about as many games as Danilo Gallinari would
How much do you expect Tyler Lydon to play next season?
Mares: None? He has elite shooting and plays within himself but he will struggle on defense. I don’t see how he fits into the rotation any more than players like Malik Beasley did this season. He’s probably a project. But we knew coming in that whoever they took would be a project.
Mikash: I don’t anticipate he’ll play much. Currently the Nuggets have Lyles, Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur and Juancho Hernangomez ahead of him for minutes at the four.
Gross: He’s gonna get a lot of time in the G-League. Maybe the Nuggets will even have a team for him to play on.
Douglas: Probably not much. He will probably get a couple of minutes here and there when the Nuggets are winning or losing by a lot, and he will likely spend a fair amount of time in the D-League.
Lewis: The Nuggets have Juancho, Faried, Arthur, Lyles, and now Lydon at power forward. I don’t think Lydon will play more than 250 minutes.
What grade would you give the Denver Nuggets for this pick (and trade)?
Lewis: Here’s my grade.
Douglas: D-. If this turns out to not part of a bigger picture, then this is simply a lateral move. Like I said, the Nuggets solve none of their problems with Lyles and Lydon on the roster.
Mares: C-. I really don’t understand the Nuggets adding more players than they need to. So trading back was fine but now they have two guys in Lyles and Lydon, neither of which I suspect will be major players in the rotation next season. Very strange, but perhaps some big trades are on the horizon. And lastly, I didn’t understand the Juancho Hernangomez pick last season and Tim Connelly and company proved they knew what they were doing.
Mikash: D. I just don’t understand it. The Nuggets didn’t address their defensive issues at all and they selected a power forward and traded for one. They’ve added two more players without consolidating the roster at all. Really confusing.
Gross: D-. It speaks to a trade, to other moves we don’t know yet. But the Nuggets had their pick of any number of talented players and decided to go with not one but two players who duplicate roles and neither of whom can play the sort of defense Denver is looking for. Honestly I think they bet that Anunoby would be there at 24 and lost when Masai and the Raptors jumped in. It’s a large talent gap from Anunoby to Lydon. It was a mistake. Now it’s on Denver to groom at least one of those guys into being a major rotation player or starter. Player development is a big deal, but I’m not a huge fan of the starting point I’m looking at right now.