|Mike Taylor is so much fun to watch in Euro-ball. Just so much more athletic than everyone else. Has had some awesome finishes tonight.|
|Top 25s - Full List|
H: 6' 2"|
W: 166 lbs
(28 Years Old)
|Agent: Benjamin Stevic ||
High School: Marshall
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Pick 55 in 2008 by Trailblazers
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2008||NBA Pre-Draft Camp||6' 0.75"||6' 2"||166||6' 7.25"||8' 2"||3.8||31.0||39.0|
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Las Vegas Summer League Day Three|
July 14, 2008
Taylor earns mention here for playing relatively well today, especially in the second half when he stopped turning the ball over as frequently. The former D-League star has all kinds of offensive skills, showing great quickness and assertiveness, but heís been off in both games weíve seen him play. He can shoot the NBA three and contribute on the glass with his athleticism, but offers essentially nothing in the way of playmaking ability. His seven turnovers are the result of his over-dribbling offensively, and while heís dominant in some settings, heís yet to explode offensively in this one. Still not much to be found in term of his point guard skills.
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Orlando Recap: First Team All-NBA Pre-Draft
June 2, 2008
After being kicked out of the Iowa State basketball program for academic reasons, Mike Taylor opted to play last season for the Idaho Stampede in the NBA's D-League. He showed off his intriguing, yet inconsistent basketball skills throughout the course of the season, and was able to make a pretty nice splash throughout the week in Orlando. Few players helped their stock as much as Mike Taylor did with his week at pre-draft camp, going from being a player very few people had seen or even heard of, to someone that could very well get drafted when itís all said and done.
Offensively, Taylor excels in transition, where he is always looking to push the ball, and was the quickest player up and down the floor throughout the course of the week. In the half-court, he displayed an incredibly quick first step and an explosive vertical leap that will allow him to finish effectively at the rim against bigger players in the NBA, despite his lack of bulk. His jumper falls quite effectively at times, and he shows range out to beyond the NBA three point line. He remains streaky in this area, as he showed throughout the D-League season (34% 3P, 71% FT), and his shot selection from deep could also stand to improve. Taylor also shows a nice mid-range game, with a very nice 10foot floater driving to the basket.
Taylorís biggest drawback as a prospect at the moment is that heís undersized for an NBA two-guard, but lacks the true point guard skills to handle the one full time. He did show good vision on the pick and roll a couple times during the week, and can find the open man on the dribble drive as well. At times he might get a little individualistic, though. He tends to force the ball into the paint occasionally, and leaves his feet with no place to go with the ball, which leads to very high turnover numbers (3.4 in 28 minutes in the D-League).
Defensively, Taylor also has a great deal of work to do. He has the lateral quickness and wingspan to become an effective defender, but loses focus easily when it comes to man to man defense. As a help defender, he tends to try and gamble in the passing lanes for steals, which leaves his team at a disadvantage. Taylor has the explosive scoring ability and athleticism to make an impact at the NBA level, but he must overcome his mental lapses on the court over the next few seasons.
His aggressive nature on the offensive end allowed him to stand out throughout the week in Orlando, and he moved himself solidly into second round conversations with the way he played. NBA teams have been moving more and more in the direction of combo guards like Mike Taylor over the past few years, and they could view him as a Louis Williams/Jannero Pargo type sparkplug to bring off the bench. He surely has the athleticism and offensive instincts to warrant that, even if heís not a very polished player at this point.
Teams will do the research they need into his background to see if there are any additional red-flags after he was arrested twice last year and booted off the team, but his head coach Bryan Gates speaks very highly of his character and recommends him strongly. There is an argument to be made that he played against stronger competition in the D-League this year than almost any NCAA player, and has a championship on his resume (scoring 27 points in 28 minutes to go along with 7 turnovers in the championship game). It doesnít look like heís a finished product right now either.
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NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Four
May 31, 2008
Mike Taylor had a very poor performance with just 1 point and 6 turnovers on 0-6 shooting in 20 minutes, but luckily for him, very few people were watching. His tendency to force the issue was extremely evident, and the opinions about him here at this camp are clearly mixed. Some people like him, and a lot of people donít. It will be interesting to see what ends up happening with him.
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NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Three
May 30, 2008
For the winners, Mike Taylor continues to help his stock by showing possibly the most athleticism of any guard in this camp. He was simply a blur in the open floor, weaving his way in and out of traffic being impossible to stay in front of even in the half-court, a looking relentlessly explosive finishing around the basket. He was a man on a mission today, making emphatic plays that clearly left a strong impression in the eyes of decision makers who had never seen him before. His perimeter shot comes better than advertised, as he displayed by pulling up off the dribble from mid-range and killing his defender for going underneath a screen, while also knocking down 2 of his 5 attempts from behind the NBA arc. He also made two very nice reads in the half-court, in back to back possessions, making good reads to slashing cutters moving off the ball for easy finishes. Heís clearly more of a shooting guard than a point, but seems to have the instincts for that not to be as much of a factor these days as it may have been a few years back. He needs to continue to be unselfish and maybe bring it up a notch on the defensive end, but you canít argue with how well heís played here so far. He definitely has a chance to get drafted.
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NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Day Two
May 29, 2008
Also a very pleasant surprise was the play of D-League product Mike Tayloróa 6-2 combo guard in the Louis Williams mold with freakish athleticism and terrific scoring instincts. He got to the basket at will, made some nice plays pulling up from mid-range, finished with a nifty floater, and hit one of his three 3-pointers (something scouts will be scrutinizing closely here). On the downside, he seemed to force the issue excessively at timesóturning the ball over a game-high 5 times in the process), struggled a bit with his rail-thin frame fighting through screens and barely saw any minutes at the point at all. He clearly looks like an undersized shooting guard, but might just have the physical tools, scoring ability and overall ability to overcome that. It will be very interesting to continue to follow him.
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NBA D-League Showcase, Day Four
January 18, 2008
Mike Taylor is the type of story you find on occasion in the D-League. A 21 year old former Junior College standout, Taylor spent his lone year in college playing for Iowa State, where he had a terrific season, averaging 16 points and 4.5 assists on his way to All-Big 10 honors. From there things seemed to go downhill for him, as he was kicked of the team after being arrested on more than one occasion. He first tried enrolling at a Division II school, but when that didnít work out, went to go play in the D-League instead, and actually had himself a terrific performance at the D-League showcase.
Taylor is a superb athlete, possibly one of the quickest players we saw in our four days in Boise. Heís also an excellent ball-handler, able to change directions quickly and get to the rim in strong fashion, where he can finish in a variety of ways. Taylor can also shoot the ball with NBA range, as he displayed knocking down a barrage of 3-pointers in just a few short minutes to bury Fort Wayne in the 3rd quarter. Heís a streak scorer who can heat up just as fast as he can cool down.
In an off the bench sparkplug role playing in a wide open setting such as this, Taylor is outstanding, but where he might get himself into some trouble is when heís forced to think and make plays in the half-court. Heís quite wild with the ball at times, driving with his head down at full speed into the paint, and jacking up terrible shots off the dribble without even thinking about looking around to see if one of his teammates are open. That doesnít come as that much of a surprise when you consider that Taylor shot 37% from the field last year and averaged just under 5 and a half turnovers per game, playing for one of the worst teams in the Big 12.
No one will deny the talent Taylor has at his disposal, but if heís going to make a career in basketball, heís going to have to first prove that heís put his considerable baggage behind him. Playing here in Idaho is a nice start.
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