Syracuse Basketball: Tyler Lydon In Toronto Is A Recipe For Success

It was a pleasant surprise to see future NBA first round pick, Tyler Lydon come back to the Syracuse basketball team in 2016, but he’s good as gone after this season.

If you follow the NBA closely, you would know that the Toronto Raptors have been struggling. A team fueled by one of the best backcourts in the NBA in DeMar Derozan and Kyle Lowry. This team continuously struggles to find a stretch four that can be productive offensively and defensively.

If the Toronto Raptors are able to land Tyler Lydon in the upcoming NBA Draft, they are getting a Small Forward or a stretch four that can both shoot AND defend at an elite level.

Since the beginning of last season, the 6-foot-9 sophomore standout has shown the basketball world that he can do more than just hit mid-range jumpers and drive to the hoop.

Tyler Lydon’s quick release and incredible shooting mechanics have shown, as he’s made 42% of his 214 college 3-point attempts. Most of his threes come from several feet behind the college line, because that is where he is wide open. Nobody should be surprised when this translates to the NBA. Lydon also shoots a healthy 82% from the free throw line, including two late ones in their last matchup against Clemson.

While Lydon can serve as a strong 3rd or 4th option on the offensive end, his defensive talents

would be what benefits Toronto most. This season, the Toronto Raptors have played some of their worst defense under Dwane Casey.

Currently, Toronto’s two best Power Forwards are Patrick Patterson and Jared Sullinger, who have both been injured for large parts of this regular season. While Patterson and Sullinger are capable of defending opposing big men, Tyler Lydon’s frame and ‘defense first’ mindset would fit perfectly in Toronto’s system.

DeMare Carroll, who was brought into Toronto for defensive purposes last season, has also been injured frequently, and hasn’t played exceptional defense. Even though Lydon has only played in a 2-3 zone since his NCAA career began, his 7-foot wingspan and consistent ability to protect the rim (6.2 percent block rate) should not be overlooked.

What makes Lydon so special on the defensive end is that he is also able to guard the perimeter effectively. For someone that size to be able to guard both big men and outside shooters is quite impressive.

Overall, Tyler Lydon can serve as an effective third scoring option behind Lowry and Derozan, and can also play solid defense at the NBA level. If I were the Raptors, I would get this kid before more people recognize what he’s capable of.

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