Tyler Lydon

Tyler Lydon Signs Rookie Contract With Nuggets

Tyler Lydon, the Nuggets’ first round-pick out of Syracuse, has officially signed his rookie contract, the team announced on its website.

A 6’10” forward, Lydon was taken by Utah with the 24th pick and shipped to Denver along with Trey Lyles in exchange for 13th pick Donovan Mitchell.

As a sophomore, Lydon was All-ACC Honorable Mention after averaging 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game for the Orange. He helped Syracuse reach the Final Four as a freshman.

Lydon, 21, can make nearly $1.58MM in his first season and nearly $9.48MM over four years, according to the Hoops Rumors chart of rookie scale salaries.

Lydon will play for Denver’s summer league team starting Friday in Las Vegas. He is the 21st first-rounder to agree to a contract.

Jazz Trade Lyles, No. 24 To Nuggets For No. 13

9:47pm: The deal is now official, per commissioner Adam Silver. The Nuggets used the 24th overall pick on Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon.

7:58pm: The Jazz have moved up in the first round, having agreed to acquire the No. 13 pick from the Nuggets, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Wojnarowski tweets that Utah will use its newly-acquired lottery selection to draft Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the Nuggets will receive Utah’s No. 24 pick and forward Trey Lyles in exchange for the No. 13 selection.

The Nuggets are well stocked in the backcourt, but needed help at forward in case Danilo Gallinari leaves in free agency. Lyles, who averaged 6.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in a reserve role with the Jazz, is 6’10” with an ability to stretch the floor. He shot 32% from 3-point range this year and 38% as a rookie.

Mitchell gives Utah a defensive-minded guard who can also help on offense. He may get playing time right away if the Jazz aren’t able to re-sign starting point guard George Hill. A sophomore, Mitchell averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists this season at Louisville.

Central Notes: Pistons, Bucks, Wade, Pacers

A pair of Michigan prospects are among the players to work out for the Pistons this week, with both Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin getting a look from the club. Walton was part of a Tuesday workout group that also included Tony Bradley (UNC), Melo Trimble (Maryland), Davon Reed (Miami), Peter Jok (Iowa), and Luke Fischer (Marquette) (Twitter links via Rod Beard of The Detroit News and Keith Langlois of Pistons.com).

Meanwhile, Irvin’s pre-draft workout will take place today, as the Pistons audition a group that also features Tyler Lydon (Syracuse), Marcus Keene (Central Michigan), Bryce Alford (UCLA), Derek Willis (Kentucky), and T.J. Cline (Richmond), per Langlois (Twitter link).

As Detroit weighs its draft options, let’s round up a few more items from around the Central division…

Southeast Notes: J. Johnson, Heat, Hawks, Hornets

When James Johnson was asked about whether his affection for the Heat could translate into a team-friendly contract in free agency this offseason, the forward took a measured stance Sunday, reports Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Johnson reiterated his love the organization, while maintaining that a business decision must be made:

I love this place so much and the opportunity they gave me. I couldn’t thank them enough. Down the line, it’s hard in this phase of my career to try to find somewhere that you call home or you want it to be home and things like that. So you know the love I have for this team is up there. But it’s just something I got to let the agent and Pat [Riley] discuss and try to figure out, and then just give my last say so at the end.”

Johnson enjoyed a career season in 2016/17, averaging 12.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 3.6 APG.

Here’s what else you should know from the Southeast division:

Draft Notes: Smith Jr., Collins, Leaf, Sixers

The Lakers have a short list of players they’re said to be targeting with the No. 2 pick in this year’s NBA Draft but they opted to bring North Carolina State guard Dennis Smith Jr. for a workout just in case they trade down, Mark Medina of the Orange County Register writes.

Smith Jr., a possible top-10 pick, participated in a group workout this weekend with a series of other draft hopefuls, including Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon. The guard impressed in the audition, his talent a cut above the rest.

Smith Jr. was sure to do his homework prior to his day with the Lakers and thinks that he can fill a void.

I checked one of the stats and they’re bottom 10 in almost everything relative to pick-and-roll scoring,” he said. “I think I can contribute to that.

There are more draft notes from around the league:

  • While he may not be around when the Jazz pick 24th in this month’s draft, TJ Leaf believes he would be a good fit with the franchise, Jody Genessy of the Deseret News writes. “Obviously draft number’s a big deal as well, but if I drop a couple of places and go to a team with a perfect fit, that’s who we want,” Leaf said after a recent workout in Utah. “We see a team like this — great coach, great system — and I think I’d fit well here, so that’s why I scheduled this one.
  • After an unexpectedly dominant first season at Gonzaga, Zach Collins is a potential one-and-done lottery pick. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee recently profiled the sharp-shooting big man, offering him up as a legitimate option for when the Kings pick at No. 10.
  • The Sixers will bring in Kyle Kuzma of Utah and Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame for workouts tomorrow, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Kuzma is projected as a late first-round pick by NBADraft.net, while Blossomgame is expected to drop into the second round. Billy Garrett (DePaul), Jalen Moore (Utah State), V.J. Beachem (Notre Dame), and Dominique Hawkins (Kentucky) will also audition for Philadelphia.

Draft Notes: Mitchell, Hart, Cleveland

The Knicks will work out Donovan Mitchell, sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link). Begley notes that New York is “highly intrigued” by the Louisville product’s defensive ability and versatility. It was previously reported that the team is considering Mitchell as an option for the No.8 overall selection.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • Josh Hart will work out for the Kings on Monday, James Ham of NBC Sports reports (Twitter link). Sacramento owns the No. 5, No.10, and No. 34 selections in the upcoming draft.
  • Isaiah Briscoe has a workout with the Jazz today, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog tweets. Zagoria adds that the Kentucky product will go through drills with the Lakers on Monday.
  • Antonius Cleveland will work out for the Blazers on Monday before heading to Charlotte to work out for the Hornets on Tuesday, Begley adds (via a separate ESPN Now link). The Southeast Missouri star also plans on going through drills with the Celtics and Jazz later in the week. Begley notes that several NBA executives from teams with picks in the second round have been impressed with the combo guard.
  • The Lakers worked out Tyler Lydon earlier today, Zagoria adds in a separate tweet.

Northwest Notes: Hood, Kanter, Blazers

When Gordon Hayward hits free agency next month he’s expected to generate considerable interest. While the Jazz are intent on retaining the All-Star, Benjamin Mehic of the Deseret News suggests that Rodney Hood could be a possible, in-house replacement.

Mehic argues that Hood’s career thus far has followed a similar trajectory to that of Hayward’s, with the former facing similar critiques to what Hayward faced early in his own career.

Although, like Hayward, Hood will look to add bulk to finish stronger around the rim, he could potentially surpass Hayward on the defensive side of the ball. Mehic cites Hood’s 6’9″ wingspan as one of his best attributes heading forward.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division:

  • In an update to a story we discussed earlier this week, Enes Kanter‘s father has been released from a Turkish prison, Erik Horne of the Oklahoman relays. On June 2, the Thunder big man announced that his family’s Istanbul home was raided by local authorities and that his father was arrested.
  • The Timberwolves worked out Jarrett Allen on Wednesday and the Texas forward profiles as a good fit for the organization, Jerry Zgoda of the StarTribune writes. Allen has been projected in the 10th-20th range, below Minnesota’s current No. 7 overall selection, but the team could always trade down.
  • The Trail Blazers have been busy auditioning potential draft picks this week, bringing in players like Harry Giles and Donovan Mitchell on Thursday (Joe Freeman of the Oregonian tweets) and then several more on Friday including Tyler Lydon and Isaiah Briscoe (per Casey Holdahl of Portland’s official site)

Central Notes: Pistons, Pacers, Bucks, Workouts

After a disappointing 2016/17 season, the Pistons will be looking this offseason for ways to improve the team’s outlook for next year. However, as Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press details, Andre Drummond doesn’t believe a roster overhaul is necessary.

“I don’t think we need to do any changes,” the Pistons center told reporters earlier this week. “We had a lot of bumps in the road last season with different things going on, and it took everybody out of sync. … With this summer coming up, we have to do a better job staying connected — the more stuff we do together, the better our camaraderie will be.”

Even if the Pistons were interested in making major changes to their roster, they would be tricky to pull off. Detroit has nearly $95MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2017/18 without counting Aron Baynes‘ $6.5MM player option or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s $9.2MM cap hold, so the team won’t have cap room to work with.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

Draft Workouts: Bucks, Knicks, Raptors, Kings, Lakers

With the lottery out of the way, pre-draft workouts are starting to intensify around the league. We bring you a roundup of several that we heard about today:

Tyler Lydon To Enter NBA Draft

Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon intends to sign with an agent and enter his name in the 2017 NBA draft, according to Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports. If Lydon formally hires an agent, he’ll forfeit the ability to withdraw his name from the draft pool later on and will forgo his remaining years of NCAA eligibility.

The sophomore is currently slated to fall in the 25-35 range, Rothstein writes, but could get a better understanding of what his personal forecast might look like after going through the NBA combine process prior to officially signing an agent.

Though his Orange squad fell in the second round of the NIT, he profiles as a solid 3-4 with good size and an ability to step out and hit the three. He shot .392 from beyond the arc in his second NCAA season.

Though much can change between now and the deadline to withdraw from the draft, Draft Express ranks the forward slightly higher than Rothstein at No. 23 in their latest mock. News of head coach Jim Boeheim returning to campus, however, could give the 20-year-old added incentive to go back for his junior season.

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