Profiling the NBA Draft, late First Round: Jeff Taylor

In addition to the 4th overall pick on June 28th, the Cavaliers also own the 24th, 33rd, and 34th selections. In a continued look at who could be available in the bottom third of the 1st round for the Cavs, below is our latest on Jeff Taylor from Vanderbilt. For previous posts in this series on Andrew Nicholson, Will Barton and Draymond Green click here, here, and here.

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No. 27 – Jeff Taylor, Senior, Vanderbilt; 2011-12 stats: 16.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 49% shooting, 42% 3-point

Vanderbilt forward Jeffery Taylor dunks against Harvard during the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game, Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Albuquerque, N.M. Vanderbilt won 79-70.
When it comes to athletes in this Draft, Jeff Taylor is near the top. In his four years at Vandy he’s come a long way. As freshman, he was a raw player who got by on his athletic skills alone. Now, he is being pegged as a first round pick.

No shock here, but Taylor’s athleticism is his best trait. He is crazy athletic. He has a quick first step that allows him to get to the rim and finish in traffic. At 6-7, 225 he has a great frame for an NBA small forward and his athleticism that makes him an attractive pick. While Taylor is probably never going to be a deadeye shooter, he has made major improvements in that area of his game.

He has some range that he can extend to the arc, and if he can develop a consistent shot, he could become a very dangerous offensive player. Defensively, Taylor has all the makings of a terrific stopper in the League. His long wingspan and athleticism make him a prototypical defender on the wing. He can be a guy coming off the bench for that defensive presence and also have the ability to contribute offensively.

Taylor does have some spots in his game he must improve. He isn’t the greatest ball handler for a wing. Because of his ball handling struggles, he does have some problems creating his own shot. If Taylor has a point guard who is able to find him, teams may be able to hide that part of his game until he develops it.

Taylor is a guy who has been talked about for the Cavaliers, along with his teammate John Jenkins who I have ranked just outside the top 30. Taylor would be a solid fit for the Cavs. He is pretty much what they lack; an athletic wing who can get to the rim and be willing to take on the task of locking down the opposing teams wing. While, there may be better options for the Cavs at 24, Taylor is someone who the Cavaliers will look at.

 

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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