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Season Report Card: Jeff Taylor


  PER PER Against (Net)
Jeff Taylor 10.33 17.23 (-6.9)

Strengths: Taylor showed the ability to hit the NBA three at a decent clip (.344 on 154 attempts) and at times demonstrated the skills that at some point in the (hopefully near) future may enable him to be a plus perimeter defender in the League. He isn’t there yet though. Taylor knows his role and doesn’t attempt to do too much that falls outside of his skill set and what the coach (RIP Coach Dunlap) asks him to do. This is evidenced by his Usage Rate of 14.75, the lowest of any Bobcats wing player. Although he’s not very assertive on the offensive end at this point in his career, he did display his athleticism on a bevy alley-oop finishes. His length and athleticism are two natural strengths which in time could translate into greater basketball skills.

Weaknesses: Taylor has yet to develop much of an offensive game off the dribble, therefore relying on his teammates to set him up for open looks (76.5% of his field goals were via assist). His catch and shoot nature is illustrated even more starkly by the fact that all 53 of his three-pointers were set up by an assist. You can live with a player like that if he provides value to the team by way of defense, but if he’s going to make his hay as a 3-point shooter/stopper a la Shane Battier he’s going to need to up his efficiency from beyond the arc. My hope would for him is that he adds to his slashing ability and post-up game to possibly resemble someone like Tony Allen. This would also allow him to get to the line more often and in turn improve his offensive efficiency.

Reasons for Optimism: Taylor is long, athletic, and from all accounts works hard and has good character. Let’s also keep in mind that he was a second round pick. Second round NBA picks don’t often make a material impact on a team. That being said, if Taylor can continue to develop his 3-point shot while also refining his on-the-ball defense and can contribute 15-20 MPG, the Bobcats have made out well for a second round pick.

Reasons for Pessimism: Taylor is a limited offensive player who for his size struggles to rebound the ball at a decent clip (3.6 rebounds per 36 minutes). As I stated above, he’s probably destined to become a defensive/3-point specialist, but that’s realistically also his ceiling. Therefore, he could end up as a guy who’s simply an average shooter who doesn’t offer enough else to compensate for that fact on the offensive end. Taking that into account, if he doesn’t develop into a plus defender then he’ll be a limited contributor on a competitive team. BUT, he was a second round pick so expectations for him should be tempered. Going forward, if he offers anything valuable to the team as they (again, hopefully) transition into a respectable franchise the pick brought a nice return on investment.