Jeff Taylor, Charlotte Bobcats
The Las Vegas Summer League showcases the fine line between fringe players with guaranteed contracts and those still fighting for a roster spot. But that muddle of similarly capable end-of-the-rotation types only makes it that much more obvious when a clear-cut NBA player is on the court. Taylor, the 31st pick in 2012, is just that. In Charlotte’s first four games, the 6-7 swingman pressured opponents off the dribble, leveraged his athleticism on break-outs and fared surprisingly well as a primary offensive option in a half-court setting.
Although merely an average perimeter shooter, Taylor looked surprisingly comfortable driving into traffic for someone whose offense came largely on spot-up jumpers and fast breaks last season. His free rein worked to great effect for the Bobcats, as Taylor has run the two-man game effectively with No. 4 pick Cody Zeller and made the most out of isolations in averaging 20.3 points.
Taylor won’t soon command this much creative responsibility for the first-team Bobcats, but being able to work more effectively off the bounce (and finish drives in a crowd) brings him that much closer to being a quality two-way player. He’ll still need to follow through on his summer-league efforts and prove he can score more effectively against actual NBA defenders on a regular basis. But after his Vegas showing, Taylor, who already looked like a decent prospect, is a nice get for Charlotte.