Former Badger Taylor feeling summer heat
Jordan Taylor’s biggest hurdle toward attaining a roster spot on an NBA team has been his perceived inability to consistently make jump shots. And through three games with the Atlanta Hawks’ NBA summer league team, Taylor has done little to dispel that notion.
Taylor, the former University of Wisconsin standout, shot 2 of 12 from the field in Atlanta’s 87-69 loss to Boston on Monday. He scored four points with five assists and six rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
In three games, he is now 6 for 21 from the field (28.5 percent), including 1 for 8 on 3-point attempts, with eight assists and two turnovers. He is averaging 4.7 points, 2.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Though Taylor’s decision-making skills and knack for avoiding turnovers make him an appealing backup point guard option in the NBA, his shooting statistics won’t help his cause. In all likelihood, Taylor is auditioning for another NBA team or will wind up playing professionally overseas.
The Hawks recently signed Lou Williams, who can play both guard positions, to a multiyear contract that will pay him $5 million next season. Earlier in the summer, Atlanta acquired former Wisconsin point guard Devin Harris. Jeff Teague also plays point guard for the Hawks.
Taylor, a preseason All-American at point guard before his senior season at Wisconsin, saw his shooting statistics drastically decrease during his final year in college. He shot 43.3 percent from the field as a junior, including 42.9 percent on 3-point attempts. But with him as the center of Wisconsin’s offensive focus as a senior, he shot 40.2 percent from the field and 36.9 percent on 3s.
Taylor has two more summer league games on Wednesday and Thursday before the five-game session ends. And he is one of four former Wisconsin players participating in the NBA Summer League, along with Brian Butch, Marcus Landry and Kammron Taylor.
Butch made his summer league debut Monday night with the Milwaukee Bucks in a 76-68 victory against New Orleans. He played 10 minutes and scored four points with two rebounds.
Butch, a 6-foot-11 center, played last season in the NBA Developmental League with the Bakersfield Jam. He averaged 15.3 points and 9.8 rebounds in 17 regular-season games. Butch is one of 19 players on the Bucks summer league roster, which includes 2012 draft picks John Henson and Doron Lamb.
Landry scored 12 points with five rebounds for the Phoenix Suns in a 99-74 victory against the New York Knicks on Sunday. He is one of three players on the Suns’ summer league team that has been on an NBA roster. The 6-7 forward played 17 games with the Knicks in 2009-10 and one with the Boston Celtics.
Landry signed a one-year deal with the Suns in December but was one of the last players cut before the season began. He then played 17 games in China for the Shanghai Sharks, where he averaged 20.6 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Kammron Taylor made his summer league debut with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday during a 73-64 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. He scored two points with two assists and four rebounds in 14 minutes.
Taylor, a 6-2 guard from Minneapolis, averaged 14.6 points and 3.6 assists last season for Dnipro Azot in Ukraine.
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