17-18 Utah Jazz Schedule Breakdown

The 2017-18 Utah Jazz Schedule is out. This is usually one of my favorite days. Where are we going? When do I get to see friends on the road? What cities are we in with great restaurants? While the NBA has done a nice job limiting the brutal stretches (no more 4 games in 5 nights) I don’t feel like this is a great schedule for the Utah Jazz.
When I look at the schedule I look for the following stretches, confidence builders, murderers row, exhaustion, imbalance and who do you play just 3 times?

Toughest Schedule in the NBA
I have to believe the Jazz have the toughest schedule in the NBA. They play in the West. They are not one of the best in the West so they play all of them (Warriors and Spurs can’t play themselves). The killer is this year the Jazz play only 3 games against the Mavericks, Kings, Grizzlies, and Lakers. All four teams are projected below the Jazz in the Western Conference.
Kevin Pelton, ESPN Insider, projected the Jazz to win 44.7 games this year before the schedule came out. Not getting 4 games against the aforementioned four teams could very easily drop the number by 2 or 3 games. The Jazz were projected 8th in the West with the Pelicans 9th at 44.2 and Blazers at 43.8. The imbalance in the schedule may very well be the difference between the playoffs and just out of the playoffs.

Confidence Builders

Believing you are good is often a large part of the battle. Can you find a part of the schedule where the team can get hot and believe in itself? It is hard to find an extended stretch of confidence builders when you play in the Western Conference.
This season the best stretch might be the opening of the season. The Jazz open the year playing 10 of their first 14 games at home. After the 4th game of the season the Jazz play just 2 of their next 16 games against team Pelton projected to win 48 or more games. The Jazz opening 21 games only 5 of the games are against teams that project to over 48 wins, 3 in the first 4 games.

The Jazz 2nd confidence builder stretch happens from March 3rd to March 22nd. The Jazz play 9 of 10 games against teams that are projected to have losing records by Pelton. The New Orleans Pelicans are the only team in this stretch who is projected to win over 35 games.
The Jazz better take advantage of these two stretches because when it is brutal it is seriously brutal.

Murderers Row
The Jazz have two stretches where almost all of their really tough games happen. Looking at games against teams projected to win 48 or more games the Jazz get crushed twice. From Dec 4th to Dec 30th the Jazz play 14 games and 11 of them are against teams projected by Pelton to win at least 48 games. Two of the exceptions are really good, Dec 9th at Milwaukee and Dec 26th at Denver. The Jazz may only be favored in 1 of 14 games from Dec 4th to the 28th.
Unfortunately, the close to the Jazz season will be brutal as well. When some teams are no longer putting out full rosters the Jazz close with 13 games and 10 of them are against teams likely battling for playoff position.

Key Stretch
The key stretch of the season will be how the Jazz are mentally after the brutal end of 2017. From Jan 1st to March 22nd the Jazz play only 7 of 35 games against the top teams in the NBA. You can make the NBA playoffs beating the teams you should.

In the midst of the December murderer’s row the Jazz play a 6 game road trip from the 8th of December to the 20th and return home to a back to back v. San Antonio. Before heading back out on the road for a Denver and Golden State back to back after Christmas.
Another tough stretch is the Jazz leave on Jan 4th for a 4 game 8 day road trip. (These used to be shorter but the expanded schedule means more days on the road) then the Jazz come home for one game, go back to Sacramento before home for a home back to back and then leave the next day for a 3 game 6 day road trip. The Jazz will be home for dinner for 3 nights from Jan 4th to the 27th. Then the Jazz play one game for 7 days before going back on the road.

Not that you care, but I miss my daughter’s birthdays and almost all of my kids ski races.

Despite that, I can’t wait to get going. This is going to be a streaky season if the schedule is an indicator. Fun times ahead. By the way, Oct 18th is just 2 months away.


Age: 22
Position: SF/PF
College: SMU, Junior

Height w/o Shoes: 6’5 ¼”
Height w/ Shoes: 6’6 ¾”
Weight: 241
Wingspan: 6’9 ¾”
Standing Reach: 8’6”
Max Vertical: 40.5”
(Via Draft Express)

College Statistics (2016/2017)
MPG: 34.1
PPG: 19.0
RPG: 6.9
ASTPG: 1.5
BLKPG: 0.4
FT%: 78.5%
2-PT FG%: 52.9%
3-PT FG%: 42.4%

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 23
Chad Ford: 35
Draft Express: 28
Sports Illustrated: 36
CBS Sports: 35

Best-Case Scenario: Jae Crowder, Stanley Johnson, Jonathon Simmons

3 Things to Know
1. Strong frame with defensive potential
2. Shown potential offensive versatility with decent range
3. Needs to improve awareness and decision making

Good bounce off of 2 feet
Big powerful frame
Can absorb contact around the rim
Stays down and holds strong like a wall on defense
Comfortable with switch in pick and roll
Spaces the floor
Compact shooting stroke
Uses jabs effectively and can attack closeouts
Very effective pick and pop game
Good rip through and drive
Effective jumper allows him to use fakes

Limited range off of the bounce
Struggles to finish. Like to gather off of 2 feet
Could benefit from developing a floater
Needs to improve feel and court awareness
Needs to get a quicker release on shot
Reckless when driving at times
Struggles versus size in the post
Needs to improve rebounding awareness
Could benefit from improving defensive intensity

Semi Ojeleye’s journey to the NBA is almost complete. He initially signed with Duke University in the class of 2013, but after two years decided to transfer to Southern Methodist University. Ojeleye has a big powerful frame, which he can use on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He showed some offensive versatility this past season by using his jab step to attack closeouts and absorb contact at the rim while also demonstrating his ability to be a threat out of the pick and pop game. On defense, his strong frame allows him to play like a wall in the post and hold his ground using excellent fundamentals by not fouling. Ojeleye will need to improve some aspects of his offensive game like finding a quicker shooting release and developing a floater in the lane. He would also benefit from improving his court awareness and feel on offense as well as his feel for rebounding. Ojeleye has the potential to be a good NBA player, so look for him to be selected anywhere in the late 1st round to the early part of the 2nd round.

Draft reports compiled by Garrett Furubayashi and Leif Thulin


Age: 21
Position: PF
College: Michigan, Sophomore

Height w/o Shoes: 6’8 ¾”
Height w/ Shoes: 6’10 ½”
Weight: 234
Wingspan: 7’3”
Standing Reach: 9’1 ½”
Max Vertical: N/A
(Via Draft Express)

College Statistics (2016/2017)
MPG: 30.4
PPG: 11.0
RPG: 5.3
ASTPG: 1.3
BLKPG: 1.5
FT%: 83.3%
2-PT FG%: 63.1%
3-PT FG%: 37.3%

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 21
Chad Ford: 28
Draft Express: 29
Sports Illustrated: 21
CBS Sports: 57

Best-Case Scenario: Tayshaun Prince, Lamar Odom, Perry Jones III

3 Things to Know
1. Light on his feet with a maturing frame
2. Needs to get stronger and more physical
3. Needs to improve defensive instincts and recognition

Fluid runner in transition
Light on his feet
Quick trigger and simple shooting mechanics
Great pick and pop threat
Can shoot on the move
Uses his body and footwork well to get pull-ups
Shown good touch on floaters and jump-hooks
Ability to turn and use either shoulder on the block
Uses wingspan for good closeouts
Great asset in switching situations. Get’s low and slides his feet
Still maturing into his frame. Starting to play some 5

Plays with finesse over finishing hard
Avoids contact and needs to get more physical
Lives off of fade-aways
Doesn’t take advance of switches
Needs to get to the line more
Needs to get stronger with the ball in traffic
Struggles versus more traditional bigs
Needs to add strength to his nice frame
Could improve defensive instincts and recognition
Bites on fakes
Loses focus and sight of the ball on defense at times
Needs to box out and find a body

DJ Wilson created headlines by staying in this year’s draft by citing that one team had promised him he’d be a first-round selection if available. Whether the rumors are true or not, the sophomore out of Michigan has a lot of tools and upside to make any team excited. He’s a very fluid athlete that is light on his feet and has the ability to find ways to get pull-ups off or use a nice soft touch in the post on jump hooks. Wilson grew up as a wing but his body has starting maturing into a nice frame for a 4, so he has the ability and quickness to defend guards on switches. Wilson will need to improve his strength and physicality at the next level in order to become a successful NBA player. He tends to live off of fadeaways and tries to avoid contact when going to the rim. Heavy ball pressure also causes him to cough the ball up at times. On defense, he needs to improve his instincts and recognition as too many times he turned his head and lost the ball or he was out of position. Wilson’s maturing body and game offer a lot of potential for the team that chooses him in tonight’s draft. Look for Wilson to be selected towards the end of the 1st round.

Draft reports compiled by Garrett Furubayashi and Leif Thulin


Age: 22
Position: PF
College: Oregon, Junior

Height w/o Shoes: 6’7”
Height w/ Shoes: 6’8 ½”
Weight: 224
Wingspan: 6’11 ¾”
Standing Reach: 8’8 ½”
Max Vertical: 38”
(Via Draft Express)

College Statistics (2016/2017)
MPG: 29.1
PPG: 11.0
RPG: 8.7
ASTPG: 1.8
BLKPG: 2.3
FT%: 69.4%
2-PT FG%: 66.1%
3-PT FG%: 15.4%

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 30
Chad Ford: 31
Draft Express: 32
Sports Illustrated: 37
CBS Sports: 25

Best-Case Scenario: Udonis Haslem, Darrell Arthur

3 Things to Know
1. Excellent defensive and rebounding potential
2. Needs to improve versatility on offense
3. Needs to work on using fundamentals over pure athleticism

Runs the floor well
Good coordination and can finish on the move
Excellent energy and pursuit
Good diver out of the pick and roll
Great defensive awareness on help side defense
Bounce and athleticism allow him to recover when beat
Works hard to deny post entries
Can read ball handlers and passing lanes well
Ability to contain ball handlers out of the pick and roll
Makes multiple efforts on the offensive glass
Aggressive and not afraid of contact in a crowd

Needs to work on moves with back to the basket on offense
Still developing touch in the post
Needs to improve jump shot
Inconsistent shooting mechanics and slow release
Struggles with traditionally sized bigs on the block
Limited reach makes it hard to contest some shots
Struggles to rebound against size
Relies too much on athleticism when rebounding (Needs to find a body)
Shot blocking nature moves him out of position when rebounding

Jordan Bell offers a lot of potential and intrigue for teams in tonight’s NBA Draft. Bell’s excellent 2016/2017 campaign, which saw him win the 2017 Pac 12 Defensive Player of the year, helped him come to the conclusion of skipping his senior season at Oregon. Bell has crazy athleticism which allows him to run the floor well and be a nice lob target. His athleticism really comes into play on the defensive side of the ball as he can recover when he’s beat or use his good lateral quickness to contain guards on switches. He also brings a ton of energy to his game, which allows him to make multiple efforts when rebounding or working hard to deny post entries on the block. Bell will need to add some offensive versatility to his game like a jump shot and touch in the post in order to be a threat in the NBA. On the glass, Bell needs to work on the fundamentals of rebounding like always trying to body up and finding a man rather than solely relying on his athleticism. His habit of not boxing out was seen during the end of the Final Four game this season where UNC got the game-winning rebound off of a free throw. Bell has a ton of potential to become a defensive menace in the NBA for whatever team chooses him. Look for Bell to be selected towards the end of the 1st round or the beginning of the 2nd.

Draft reports compiled by Garrett Furubayashi and Leif Thulin


Age: 21
Position: PF
College: Utah, Junior

Height w/o Shoes: 6’8”
Height w/ Shoes: 6’9 ½”
Weight: 223
Wingspan: 7’0 ¼”
Standing Reach: 8’11 ½”
Max Vertical: 34”
(Via Draft Express)

College Statistics (2016/2017)
MPG: 31.2
PPG: 16.3
RPG: 9.0
ASTPG: 2.4
BLKPG: 0.5
FT%: 66.9%
2-PT FG%: 55.7%
3-PT FG%: 32.1%

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 45
Chad Ford: 49
Draft Express: 42
Sports Illustrated: 40
CBS Sports: 61

Best-Case Scenario: Lamar Odom, Jeff Green, The Morris Twins

3 Things to Know
1. Great potential offensive versatility
2. Will need to become more consistent shooter
3. Needs to improve physicality and decision-making

Runs the floor well in transition
Spaces floor well and makes himself available off the ball
Quick to the ball and can rebound in a crowd
Agility and feet allow him to play good defense on switches
Shifty ball handler for his size
Quick release allows clean looks versus contest
Potential pick and pop threat
Attacks closeouts at the rim or with a floater
Quick first step in face ups
Can finish with both hands
Good court vision leading the break

Needs to get stronger
Improve physicality and holding ground in the post
Tends to hug his man. Needs to rotate better in help
Needs to improve technique and intensity on defense (Get lower)
Needs to improve decision making
Sometimes forces shots early in the shot clock
Needs to become a more consistent shooter
Improve shooting off of the dribble
Ability to finish in the post is a question mark

Kyle Kuzma’s variety of skills makes him an interesting prospect in this year’s draft. The 4-star recruit out of Flint, Michigan decided to forego his senior season at Utah after 3 years of steady improvement. Kuzma has multiple ways to score in his offensive arsenal from the ability to finish in a crowd at the rim, to using his soft touch on floaters, or knocking down jumpers and 3 pointers. He also showed his above average ball-handling and court vision, which allows him to lead breaks up the floor. While Kuzma has good offensive upside, he’ll need to become a more consistent shooter in the NBA. He has the potential to become a shooting threat with a nice stroke and a quick release, but he did only shoot 32.1% from beyond the arc this season and wasn’t very effective off the dribble either. On defense, he could benefit from improving his stance and defensive technique by getting lower on the ball as well as rotating better in help. Improving his decision making will also help him limit silly turnovers. Kuzma has the potential to be a nice threat off of the bench, so look for him to be selected sometime in the 2nd round.

Draft reports compiled by Garrett Furubayashi and Leif Thulin

GET TO KNOW 2017 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS- Edrice “Bam” Adebayo

Age: 19
Position: C
College: Kentucky, Freshman

Height w/o Shoes: 6’8 ¾”
Height w/ Shoes: 6’9 ¾”
Weight: 243
Wingspan: 7’2 ¾”
Standing Reach: 9’0”
Max Vertical: 38.5”
(Via Draft Express)

College Statistics (2016/2017)
MPG: 30.1
PPG: 13.0
RPG: 8.0
ASTPG: 0.8
BLKPG: 1.5
FT%: 65.3%
2-PT FG%: 60.1%
(Did not attempt a 3-PT shot)

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 27
Chad Ford: 23
Draft Express: 37
Sports Illustrated: 26
CBS Sports: 29

Best-Case Scenario, Bismack Biyombo, Montrezl Harrell

3 Things to Know
1. Fluid and nimble but strong at the same time
2. Needs to add versatility on offense (Potential mid-range game)
3. Will benefit from learning and gaining more experience

Excellent rim runner
Light on his feet and very bouncy athlete (Lob target)
Uses strong body to create space in the post (Loves to dunk)
Good instincts at the rim on putback dunks
Uses body to get rebounds
At times has a good motor and aggression for the ball
Slides his feet and can defend perimeter 4s
Fluid enough to stay with quicker and smaller 4s
Active feet on defense
Covers ground and passing lanes well
Potential to be a great rim protector
Potentially develop into a mid-range threat

Limited face-up game
Uncomfortable in the high post
Needs to improve touch off of jump hook
Will need to improve using his left hand
Struggles with guards digging down
Needs to improve court vision
Needs to learn more concepts and fundamentals on defense
Could stand to become even more physical on defense
Bites on fakes and needs to improve his focus
Tends to stand and watch at times when rebounding
Will need to rely on motor and technique on defense and rebounding

Edrice “Bam” Adebayo is an intriguing 19-year-old prospect from the University of Kentucky. Adebayo is an extremely athletic big man who is light on his feet with a good amount of bounce that allows him to be an excellent rim runner and dunker. His quick feet allow him to be disruptive on defense with his good lateral footwork defending quicker guards on switches and his long arms disrupting passing lanes. Adebayo uses his body well when rebounding along with a good motor and aggressiveness when fighting off the glass. He’ll need to add some versatility to his offensive game by adding a jump shot to be a threat in face ups as well as some touch on his jump hooks. He also needs to improve his toughness and focus like playing through the chaos of being double-teamed in the post or guards digging down on him on the block. On defense, he’ll need to improve his technique and understanding of defensive concepts. Overall, Adebayo will benefit from watching and learning from NBA coaches who will help him gain experience and wisdom especially on the defensive side of the ball. Adebayo should be drafted towards the middle or late 1st round of the draft.

Draft reports compiled by Garrett Furubayashi and Leif Thulin


Age: 19
Position: SG
College: Duke, Freshman

Height w/o Shoes: 6’2”
Height w/ Shoes: 6’3 ½”
Weight: 202
Wingspan: 6’7 ½”
Standing Reach: 8’2”
Max Vertical: 42”
(Via Draft Express)

College Statistics (2016/2017)
MPG: 24.9
PPG: 10.9
RPG: 2.5
STLPG: 0.6
APG: 1.7
FT%: 75.5%
2-PT FG%: 53.9%
3-PT FG%: 39.5%

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 38
Chad Ford: 27
Draft Express: 41
Sports Illustrated: 32
CBS Sports: 47

Best-Case Scenario, Austin Rivers, Jerryd Bayless

3 Things to Know
1. Extremely athletic with a ton of bounce
2. Good offensive potential (Especially off the drive)
3. Needs to improve awareness and containment on defense

Explosive first step from triple threat
Bouncy and explosive athlete
Absorbs contact well at the rim
Length helps him be disruptive in the paint on defense
Great in transition and early in the shot clock
Rejects pick and roll well with a great cross-over
Changes speeds on switches with bigs
Good touch and finesse on floaters
Good shooting mechanics and rhythm
Good instincts to make himself available off the ball
Good footwork in pull up game

Struggles to get team into offensive sets
Needs to improve handling ball pressure
Tends to force the issue. Needs to improve decision making
Struggles to execute passing at times
Needs to become more shifty going east-west
Limited to only defending 1s
Struggles to contain quicker and more explosive PGs
Needs to improve awareness on defense

Frank Jackson’s journey to the NBA is almost complete. The local star out of Lone Peak high school committed to Duke University as a 5-star recruit to play under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski, and after one collegiate season decided to enter the 2017 NBA Draft. Jackson is an incredible athlete with an explosive first step and incredible bounce that allows him to drive to the rim and throw down powerful dunks. He also offers some versatility on offense by either using his soft touch on floaters or his good shooting mechanics to knock down jumpers. Off the ball, he’s able to space the floor well so that he’s always ready to catch and shoot. While Jackson is a force on offense, he struggles with some of the traditional duties of a true point guard like handling ball pressure coming up the court and setting up offensive sets. He also needs to improve his decision-making by slowing down on offense and working on his execution. On the defensive side, his length limits his ability to guard 2s so he’ll need to improve his lateral quickness to contain the faster and more explosive point guards. Jackson needs more time to learn and develop, but he offers a lot of potential for whatever team drafts him. He should be selected from anywhere in the late 1st round to the middle of the 2nd round.

Draft reports compiled by Garrett Furubayashi and Leif Thulin


Age: 21
Position: SF
College: Oregon, Junior

Height w/o Shoes: 6’5”
Height w/ Shoes: 6’6”
Weight: 220
Wingspan: 6’6”
Standing Reach: 8’4½”
Max Vertical: 37.5”
(Via Draft Express)

College Statistics (2016/2017)
MPG: 25.5
PPG: 16.0
RPG: 3.3
STLPG: 1.1
APG: 2.7
FT%: 74.4%
2-PT FG%: 52.6%
3-PT FG%: 40.4%

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 65
Chad Ford: 45
Draft Express: 52
Sports Illustrated: 65
CBS Sports: 50

3 Things to Know
1. Threat on offense
2. Must improve his defense and decision making
3. Confident and unafraid

Physical player and absorbs contact well
Strong body and frame covers lack of length
Can space the floor well and always ready to catch and shoot
Good shooting mechanics
Trail 3 threat
Can rise up out of “hang” dribble
Good jab step sets up step-back
Attacks closeouts hard
Physical finisher around the rim
Also has decent touch from the mid-post
Great passing vision
Not afraid of the moment. Clutch performer

Hard time finishing in crowd of bigger players
Lacks lateral quickness and ability to contain quicker guards
As a stretch 4 in small ball lineup, has a hard time guarding bigger 4s
Predictable head down straight line driver in ISOs
Throws up careless shots when he can’t get to the rim
Needs to improve ball handling and change of direction
Heavy ISO mentality
Questionable shot selection
Can he play good man defense?
Bad vision in help defense
Inconsistent box out efforts

The 2017 Pac 12 player of the year decided to forego his senior season and enter the NBA draft. Brooks dominated the college scene with his attitude and aggressiveness to help Oregon reach the Elite Eight and Final Four in back to back years. Brooks has a versatile offensive game where he can shoot the lights out with a good percentage beyond the arc, or he’ll use his physicality to attacks closeout hard by driving and finishing at the rim. His balance and shooting mechanics give him good range along with his smooth step-back out of a jab step, which allows him to create space. Perhaps Brooks’ biggest strength is his mentality and confidence. He’s never afraid of the moment and always wants the ball when the lights are the brightest like in his two notable game winners at Cal and at #2 UCLA. Brooks sometimes has difficulty playing against bigger 4s on both offensive and defense. On offense, he tends to sometimes make poor decisions by taking careless shots when he isn’t able to bully his way to the rim. On defense, he can’t contain the guys who are built taller and bigger than him, and he also has a problem defending quicker guards. Since Oregon played a lot of zone, some scouts question whether Brooks is a capable man defender, but even in a zone defense there were times when he was caught napping in the helpside position. Overall Brooks has a tremendous offensive game that comes with its fair share of question marks on the defensive side, but look for Brooks to be drafted sometime in the 2nd round.

GET TO KNOW 2017 NBA DRAFT PROSPECTS – Isaiah Hartenstein

Age: 19
Position: C
College: N/A

Height w/o shoes: N/A
Height w/ shoes: 7’1.25”
Weight: 250 lbs
Wingspan: 7’2.25”
Standing reach: 9’1”
No Step Vert 25.5”
Max Vertical: N/A
Via DraftExpress

2016-2017 Stats
MPG: 3.2
PPG: 1.0
RPG: 0.8
BLKPG: 0.0
STLPG: 0.0
APG: 0.2
FT%: 100%
2-PT FG%: 66.7%
3-PT FG%: 0%
Via Draft Express

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 42
Chad Ford: 29
Draft Express: 23
Sports Illustrated: 31
CBS Sports: 32

3 Things to Know
1. His NBA career hinges on how dependable a shooter he becomes due to his average athleticism.
2. He projects as a backup big who has the potential to stretch the floor and clog the paint but not dominant on either end.
3. Hartenstein’s playmaking ability and potential to be a knockdown shooter shines through his many other mediocre qualities athletically and defensively making him an intriguing prospect for teams who are in need for a role playing big for the present and future with time to grow.

Fluid ball handler.
Dribbling ability allows him to be threat attacking poor closeouts and finishing at the rim if he develops as a shooter.
Projects as a strong shooter for his size
Very good vision.
Aggressive playmaker
Nose for the ball.
Aggressive rebounder.
Good putback rebounder.

Only average athleticism and length.
Plays below the rim.
Not a rim protector
Doesn’t play up to his size and stature due to poor posture and only decent athleticism.
Subpar foot speed.
Weak perimeter defender.
Inconsistent shooter at this point with odd rotation on his shot but definitely has room and fluidity needed to improve if he can improve his fundamentals.
His NBA career could be dependent on how his shot improves as he doesn’t bring shot blocking or very a refined offensive repertoire

Isaiah Hartenstein is a young big man with huge potential as he is already skilled and quite fluid. As a 19-year-old playing professionally in Europe, he received limited minutes, but demonstrated skills and touch beyond his years. Although he is young and could develop, he has not demonstrated elite athleticism. Along with not possessing elite athleticism, he lacks amazing length as well as a developed body. These qualities lacking, he projects to be a subpar defender, as he is neither a rim protector nor a man capable of defending on the perimeter. Due to these limitations, and not playing significant minutes in Europe, he seems destined to be picked based on aspirations on what he could be rather than what he already is as a player. Overall, his lack of playing time and full development may make him fall in the draft, yet could produce a steal once he develops further physically and as a player. He projects to be a late first round pick or early second round pick.

Draft reports compiled by Garrett Furubayashi and Leif Thulin


Age: 21
Position: PF
College: Syracuse, Sophomore

Height w/o Shoes: 6’8.25”
Height w/ Shoes: 6’9.5”
Weight: 215 lbs
Wingspan: 7’0”
Standing reach: 8’11.5”
Max Vertical: 33.5”
Via DraftExpress

College Statistics (Sophomore year)
MPG: 36.1
PPG: 13.2
RPG: 8.6
BLKPG: 1.4
STLPG: 1.0
APG: 2.1
FT%: 83.6%
2-PT FG%: 52.3%
3-PT FG%: 39.2%
Via Draft Express

Best Case Comparison: Donyell Marshall, Raef LaFrentz, Brian Scalabrine

2017 Big Board Ranking
Kevin O’Connor: 52
Chad Ford: 34
Draft Express: 24
Sports Illustrated: 41
CBS Sports: 33

3 Things To Know
1. Lydon must strengthen his body in order to contribute at the NBA level, where he is unlikely to be protected by a 2-3 zone like he was at Syracuse.
2. Lydon’s shooting touch shows his potential to be a valuable stretch 4.
3. Lydon’s sticking in the NBA will depend on his ability to improve physically, allowing him to be a reliable defender against bigger players as he does have average quickness but needs to bulk up. He also must continue to improve his range as his biggest strength is the ability to shoot compared to other prospects his size.

Solid shooter
Easy transition to NBA range
Quick trigger and high release
Excellent footwork when preparing to shoot on the move
Looks to have pick and pop potential
Stretch four fit
Ambidextrous around the cup
Soft Touch, allowing him to be good finisher if he bulks up
Intelligent cutter who has the ability to finish above the rim
Intelligent passer

Only an average rebounder
Not a shot blocker outside of Syracuse’s patented 2-3 zone
Lacks size and strength to defend NBA big men
Not quick enough to guard wings
Average frame and athleticism
Limited defensive upside
Slow first step causing more difficult shots such as floaters instead of dunks and layups
Lacks fluidity when shooting off of the dribble.
Does not effectively create space.

Tyler Lydon is an intriguing prospect as a potential forward benefiting from the NBA’s shift towards shooting more threes and employing smaller lineups more frequently. Lydon, a 6’9.5” 215 forward who attended Syracuse specialized as a big man who could really shoot the ball from downtown. Lydon was never extremely heavily recruited, yet he began turning heads by starring as a freshman in Syracuse’s run to the Final Four in 2016. The main advantage of Lydon attending Syracuse in terms of his draft stock may have come in the form of eliminating him from playing perimeter defense as they play their trademark 2-3 zone defense. However, Lydon’s upside as a shooter may be limited by his unknown and potentially weak defensive abilities. He demonstrated an ability to shoot the three well in college, alluring to many teams in need of a pick and pop type player, shooting spot-up threes from the 4 position, rather than clogging up the lane as traditional big men have done for years. Lydon also has the ability to rebound well for having a smaller frame and not being a freak athlete, assuring the teams of his physicality along with his silky touch from the outside. In summary, Lydon projects to be an end of first round pick to the middle of the second round selection that has the potential to contribute as a role player immediately and potentially develop into a very valuable player further in his career, specializing as a floor spacer.

Draft reports compiled by Garrett Furubayashi and Leif Thulin