Denver Nuggets Season Review: Jarred Vanderbilt and Tyler Lydon
Games: 17, PPG: 1.4, RPG: 1.4, FG: .474
Games: 25, PPG: 0.9, RPG: 0.7, FG: .500
Although minutes were hard to come by for Jarred Vanderbilt and Tyler Lydon, there were some encouraging moments for both players throughout the season.
Vanderbilt, in particular, flashed signs of being an asset for the Nuggets on defense moving forward. His per 36 minutes stats are impressive as he projects to average 12.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.1 steals. With a frontcourt that featured Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokić, Vanderbilt could provide a nice change of pace as he has jump-out-the-gym athleticism. He was an impressive rebounder in college, grabbing 25 percent of all available rebounds when he played at Kentucky – which was tops in the nation according to NBADraft.net. In the NBA, he grabbed 18 percent. Andre Drummond, the NBA’s top rebounder, grabbed 22.8 percent of available boards last season. Vanderbilt’s rebounding percentage is comparable to Clint Capela, who averaged 12.7 boards per game (fifth in the NBA) and collected 18.5 percent of all available rebounds.
The key for the 19-year-old is staying healthy and adding to his offensive game. Part of the reason why the Nuggets were able to pick him in the second round is due to his reputation as a tweener and being limited to 14 games at Kentucky due to injury. It was the same injury that withheld Vanderbilt from playing in last year’s Summer League. He would make his NBA debut on Jan. 25 against the Phoenix Suns after spending almost a year away from competitive basketball. In a four-game stint in the G League with the Delaware Blue Coats, Vanderbilt averaged 7.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and shot 57.1 percent from the field in just 16.2 minutes per game.
Lydon flashed some of the range and touch that made him the 24th pick overall in 2017 in the G League. The power forward averaged 13.3 points, 9.6 rebounds while shooting 44 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from downtown in eight games with the Capital City Go-Go.