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The Kings agreed to terms with former Syracuse standout Tyler Lydon on Sunday, using a minimum salary exception to add depth at the forward position, a league source said.
Lydon, 23, agreed to a two-year minimum contract with a partial guarantee on the $3.83 million he is owed over the next two seasons, the source said. Lydon is a 6-foot-10, 225-pound power forward who will provide depth for Sacramento’s stable of young big men.
Lydon spent his first two years in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets, who selected him with the 24th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Lydon entered the draft after averaging 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 blocks as a sophomore at Syracuse. He shot 47.6 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range on 3.5 attempts per game.
Lydon averaged 12.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 15 games for the G League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2017-18 before his rookie season was cut short by a torn meniscus. He appeared in 25 games for Denver last season, averaging 0.9 points and 0.7 rebounds in 3.8 minutes per game for the Nuggets, who declined to pick up his option for 2019-20.
“I feel like I’m good enough to play in this league, and I’ll believe that till the day I die,” Lydon recently told the Poughkeepsie Journal. “It’s like, ‘Give me one chance to prove that I belong.’”
Lydon logged 67 percent of his minutes at power forward, 17 percent at center and 16 percent at small forward last season in Denver. He will likely compete with big men such as Marvin Bagley III, Nemanja Bjelica, Harry Giles III and Richaun Holmes for minutes at power forward, but the Kings could consider using him on the wing behind Harrison Barnes and Trevor Ariza.
“I think I’ve developed my game enough that I can be an all-around player,” Lydon told the Journal. “There were times when it came up, the possibility of transitioning to being a (small forward) and playing the wing. I think I can do a little of everything. What really helps me is that I know I’m a good shooter.”