The San Antonio Spurs are on their annual Rodeo Road Trip and that means plenty of Spurs are probably hanging out on their couches twiddling their thumbs when the games aren’t on. So that would be the perfect time to read up on some college basketball prospects. Since the Spurs are likely to pick late in the first round, here’s a breakdown of one player who might be available then.
Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon could become the prototypical stretch-4 or even an outright small forward for the Spurs. The Orange star is a surprisingly good defensive player despite the school’s reputation for playing soft defense in its 2-3 zone. Here are some of his measurables:
- 6’9”, 223 pounds
- At least a 7’0” wingspan (measurements haven’t been updated in a couple years)
- 13.8 points per game with 2.0 assists per game
- 42.9% from beyond the arc, 50% from the floor overall, 81.2% from the free throw line
- 124.2 offensive rating, 102.4 defensive rating
Lydon is a great shooter for his size and has solid mechanics as well as a decent post game. He knows how to work against smaller defenders and he has good enough dribbling skills to get by bigger men. He’s almost like a Davis Bertans, but not nearly as athletic.
He can be a great shooter and playmaker, but he tends to be hesitant at times and that is not a good look. There are times when he looks like the best player on Syracuse’s team and then there are times when he is the most timid. That is surely a habit that can be broken, and one that Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich has had to deal with before in Tony Parker becoming a starting guard for the first time in the NBA.
Lydon will have to get stronger to be able to guard more traditional power forwards, but that is an easy remedy. He would be a huge weapon in the pick-and-roll as he can be the screener or the ball handler. He can pop or roll as the screener and he can handle the ball well enough to feed whoever screens for him as well or he can shoot over a smaller defender if there’s a switch.
He has deep range, which will make him a threat from outside and he can spread the floor for other guys on the floor like Parker, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. He is projected as a guy who will be taken after the No. 20 pick so he may very well be available to the Spurs by the time they are picking presumably around pick 29 or 30.