With the 41st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Portland Trailblazers selected Tyshawn Taylor and then traded his rights to the Brooklyn Nets. A 6-foot-3, 185-pound Point Guard out of the University of Kansas, Taylor averaged 16.6 points, 4.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game during his senior season. He was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team and was an AP and Sports News Third Team All-American.
His strengths are his athleticism, speed, size, quick first step, defense and his transition offense. He is able to play above the rim for a point guard and can cover both guard positions at a high level due to his athletic ability and strength. His weaknesses are his decision-making, jump shot and he has had off the court issues. Although he averaged almost five assists per game his senior season, he also averaged 3.5 turnovers. This is a very troubling statistic for someone who would have to play the point guard position because he doesn’t have a fluid jump shot. He was also suspended for his junior season at Kansas for violating team rules.
In his first year in the NBA, Taylor averaged 2.2 points and 5.8 minutes in 38 games off the bench. He also started eight games for the Nets D-League team the Springfield Armor and averaged 24.6 points and 7.5 assists but he still turned the ball over at an alarming rate of 4.75 times per game.
The Brooklyn Nets are a legitimate title contender this season after acquiring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from the Boston Celtics as well as signing free agent Andrei Kirilenko. They have a short window to win a championship and probably will not have a spot in the rotation open for Taylor when the season begins. He will benefit a lot from having Jason Kidd as his head coach and if there was anyone who could help him with his decision-making, it would be Kidd. I look for Taylor to spend time between the D-League and sitting at the end of the bench. He may get some minutes in blow out games and towards the end of the season when the Nets clinch a playoff spot. If he can improve on his jump shot and decision making he can be an off the bench Point Guard in the mold of a C.J. Watson, but if he continues to turn the ball over and miss open jump shots he will be out of the league within three years and playing overseas.