Men's Basketball

How Tyler Lydon fits into the Denver Nuggets’ rotation

Jacob Greenfeld | Staff Photographer

Tyler Lydon will have to compete with three similar-sized, similar-skilled power forwards to earn minutes, and that doesn't even count the Nuggets' starting 4.

Former Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon was picked by the Utah Jazz with the No. 24 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and then reportedly traded to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

Here is the current salary and contract situation for the Nuggets, per Spotrac.com.

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Lydon, who projects as a stretch four at the NBA level, joins a roster loaded with similar-sized forwards who like to shoot 3-pointers. That includes Darrell Arthur (2.9 3-point attempts per game), Juan Hernangomez (1.8) and third-year stretch four Trey Lyles (2.9), who Denver traded Utah for as a part of its deal to get the No. 24 pick.

Kenneth Faried, entering his seventh year with the Nuggets and who is one of the faces of the franchise, starts at power forward when healthy but does not shoot the 3. He’s attempted only 19 such shots in his career. Danilo Gallinari normally plays small forward but also shifts down to power forward and he shoots the most beyond the arc at 5.1 triple attempts per game. He also declined his player option this offseason and is a free agent this summer, but the Denver Post reported re-signing Gallinari is still a high priority for the organization.

This is the second time in as many years the Nuggets have loaded up in the front court after taking Hernangomez from Spain last year. Before that, Denver’s last first-round pick in the same size and position was Faried in 2011.

So, in drafting Lydon, the Nuggets created a sort of logjam:

Trey Lyles, 6-foot-10, 234 pounds, third-year, 6.2 shots per game (2.9 3-pointers per game)

Juan Hernangomez, 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, second-year, 3.6 shots (1.8)

Darrell Arthur, 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, eighth-year, 5.2 shots (2.9)

Tyler Lydon, 6-foot-9, 210 pounds, rookie, college stats: 9.4 shots (3.7)

This summary does not include Faried who, despite playing just 61 games due to various injuries, played a large role in three of the Nuggets eight most-used lineups last season. Each of those players is under contract or has a team option through at least 2018-19. For Lydon to earn his minutes (and shots) he’ll need to navigate this clutter, and to do so, he’ll need to be more than a big, athletic threat from beyond the arc.

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