Submitted by Cory Bernstein of Hoops Talk Nation
Brooklyn’s Finest 15 is the ranking of all 15 Nets based on what I think will be their impact on Brooklyn this season. Here’s number 10, Tyshawn Taylor.
I’ve spent the last twenty minutes trying to find a comparison to Tyshawn Taylor who isn’t Avery Bradley, but I just couldn’t. I wanted to avoid it because both have had such different paths to the NBA. Bradley and John Wall were interchangeable as the top recruit in the nation in 2009, while Taylor was barely a top 100 recruit in 2008. Bradley played one mildly disappointing year at Texas before being 19th by the Celtics. Taylor was a star for four years at Kansas, making 3rd team All-American last season, bfore going 41st to the Nets.
Despite one being a much more hereladed prospect out of high school and college, the comparisions just fit perfectly. Both play a tweener guard position out of need, they are not good enough ball handlers to play point guard but too small to be full time shooting guards. Though this was not really the case with Taylor in college (he was mainly a point guard), it is widely expected to change in the pros. Unless he gets much better with the basketball, he will be forced to play this Bradley-esque position. In addition, both have similar games. Bradley has established himself as a star defensively with the Celtics. There are few better wing defenders in the league, and this presence was felt by Boston when he was injured and could not play in the Eastern Conference Finals last year. In college, Taylor was also regarded as an elite wing defender. Like Bradley, Taylor did not cause tons turnovers in college, but simply blanketed other guards.
Bradley looks even better as a comparison to Taylor the makeup’s of the teams they were drafted to. On the Celtics, Bradley had an All-Star quality and shooting guard (Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen) as starters, and in turn averaged 5.2 minutes per game as a rookie. With Deron Williams and Joe Johnson in place, Tyshawn Taylor should not be counted on to play more than a few minutes a game in the beginning of the season, especially with an established backup point guard in CJ Watson on the roster as well.
That being said, it would not totally shock me if Taylor was to have a season like Bradley had in 2011-12, where he established himself as a key role player an elite defender, this year. Why? Statistically speaking, one to three players drafted in the second round become successful NBA players every season. The binding thread between many these guys is they played four years in college. This makes sense, because a player with four years of college experienced should be more polished and ready for the NBA game than his less experienced rookie counterparts. Since the 2007 Draft, Carl Landry, Chase Budinger, Danny Green, Marcus Thornton, Landry Fields, Chandler Parsons, and Lavoy Allen have all come into the league as second round picks after graduating college, only to find success. If one is to assume that one or two second round picks will again be successful, not Taylor? He has the physical tools to succeed as an NBA guard and has remarkable track record of success in high school and college. Taylor has as much high-level experience as any rookie, playing major minutes for four years at Kansas.
Unlike many four year college players, Tyshawn Taylor has the body and athletisicm to survive in the NBA. No, he will never be an elite offensive player. But, I believe that Taylor will establish himself as a solid defender off the bench for the Nets this season. There may be a few trips down to Spingfield, but all in all this was a fantastic second round pick for the Nets. To pick up the 2nd best player on the 2nd best team in all of the NCAA in the late-second round was phenomenal value for the Nets, and I believe the pick could pay immediate dividends. If my Avery Bradley comparison is correct, the Nets will have picked up a force of a defensive guard, something that cannot be said of Deron Williams or Joe Johnson. It is hard to predict the success of rookies, but I believe that Tyshawn Taylor can succeed in the NBA this season as a defender and backup point guard in limited minutes, with the potential to be much more. As the season rolls on, I expect Tyshawn Taylor to play more and more for the Nets and have a role on this squad as they hopefully enter the postseason.