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Lydon becomes third Columbia County product drafted into NBA

Syracuse Orange forward Tyler Lydon (20) prior to the game against the South Carolina State Bulldogs at the Carrier Dome.
June 23, 2017 05:51 pm

At his family home in Elizaville, Tyler Lydon heard his named called in the NBA Draft last night with the Denver Nuggets selecting the former Pine Plains Bomber with the No. 24 overall pick.

“I couldn’t be more happy, more excited about joining the organization and get out there and play and getting ready to work,” Lydon said in a conference call. “That’s what I’m about. I can’t wait.

“I feel like my play fits with their team very well with my ability to stretch the floor, shoot it and defend. I feel like I can really get out there and defend and switch on the guards. I’m just excited to get out there and get to work.”

The 24th pick originally belonged to the Utah Jazz, but the team traded it away to Denver — a move that also landed the team Utah’s Trey Lyles.

Lydon helped lead Pine Plains to the Class C state title game in 2013, where the team fell to Lake George, 55-45. He later transferred to New Hampton School in New Hampshire and went on to play two years at Syracuse University.

As a sophomore, Lydon led the Orange in rebounding with 8.6 per game and scored 13.2 points per contest, ranking second on the roster.

By landing in the first round, Lydon is guaranteed a two-year deal with a team option in years three and four. The Collective Bargaining Agreement determines the salary each player will receive based on their draft position for the first three years.

Being the No. 24 pick, Lydon is slated to earn as much as $3,454,080 over two years and $8,418,654 over four years. His bottom salary as a rookie would be right around $1.1 million. Players selected in the second round are not guaranteed a contract.

“Lydon is an interesting prospect and fits the Nuggets’ need for a player who can defend and shoot from both forward positions,” ESPN’s Chad Ford said. “He needs to get stronger and at times he can be passive, but there’s a lot of upside here.”


On Thursday night, Lydon became the third Columbia County-bred basketball player to be drafted into the NBA.

The Elizaville native joins two Hudson legends of the hardwood — Butch Erwin and Ronnie Bell — in earning the honor.

Erwin, after playing at Hudson High, Paul Smith College and Niagara University, was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the ninth pick of the 10th round (111 overall) in 1967.

Back then, the draft had 20 rounds and 162 players selected while the draft today has two rounds with 60 players.

Bell also went the junior college route, leaving Hudson High to play at Cayuga Community College for two years. After that, he went on to play at Virginia Tech for two seasons.

Bell was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 13th pick of the sixth round (123 overall) in 1978.