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Q&A: Get to know Nuggets first round pick Tyler Lydon

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Tyler Lydon from a Syracuse fan’s perspective

Syracuse v Virginia Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

For many Nuggets fans, selecting Tyler Lydon from Syracuse with the #24 overall pick not only came as a surprise but left a lot of unanswered questions. Luckily, our friends over at Syracuse’s SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician are here to help answer some of these questions and help us get to know Lydon a bit better.

Much thanks to John Cassillo for taking the time to offer his unique perspective!

Who is Tyler Lydon as a person? Are there any good stories about him or his personality?

Tyler's actually a pretty fun dude. He once hit a key three with one shoe on in the Elite 8 upset vs. Virginia. Lydon had a mustache named Rico, which took on a life of its own for one glorious month during the 2015-16 season. While helping us get to the Final Four last year, he had a lot of fun moments, including this one of him blowing a kiss out of a golf cart. Really, he's one of the more fun players we've had on the team in recent years.

Who would be a comparable NBA player for Tyler Lydon?

I'd call him a more athletic Ryan Anderson or a perhaps Nikola Mirotic with better leaping ability. Lydon has a nice trajectory on his jumper, and has the length to really create some space and make plays as a stretch-4. His defense will probably leave some folks skeptical, but he has his moments. He does need to add some size to rally play the 4 well at the NBA level.

How do you feel Lydon's defensive game will translate to the NBA? Does he have the tools to succeed on defense outside of the Syracuse zone?

The 2-3 zone's been a bit deceptive for some NBA folks. It's a zone, of course, but Jim Boeheim has changed the way he recruits to it. He brings in a lot of length and athleticism and favors players that can move and react with man-to-man principles at times. Lydon's not a great defender, but his length and athleticism will help him effort his way into some improvement at the next level. It's not talked about as much, but he's a quality shot blocker, which should be helpful.

What do you think his ceiling is?

If he can add the weight and get a little more aggressive on both ends, he can be an effective stretch-4 in the NBA. He'll never be an all-star defender, but his jumper and rebounding ability should help him carve out playing time. Perhaps he could thrive as a sixth man-type. But he'll need help from a capable point guard to really hit his ceiling. Lydon was rarely a shot creator for himself, so some assistance from the PG spot could be huge for him.

Anything else we need to know?

If you're willing to give him the time, he'll develop into a quality rotational player and maybe eventually start in the right coach's system. He's a bit of a gamble in the eyes of some, but his shooting ability and skill on the boards should be enough to (hopefully) reassure Nuggets fans they've got an NBA player on their hands.