Nov 5, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Charlotte Bobcats small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) and shooting guard Jeffery Taylor (44) celebrate victory 102-97 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Forgotten at the Swarm: Jeffery Taylor

In the 2012 NBA draft the Charlotte Bobcats selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the 2nd overall pick.  With the 1st pick in the second round, they went on to select the wing-man out of Vanderbilt in Jeffery Taylor.   Most analysts loved this kid coming out of Vandy, labeling him as a high effort player that improved his shot over the years, and a complete physical specimen.  He also was one of the best wing defenders in the SEC (with the crown going to MKG) and a player that could really add some depth to the Bobcats roster.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went on to have an average rookie year, starting 77 games at about 26 minutes per contest and averaging 9pts, 6 boards, and 1.5 assists.  His defensive ability was obvious adding in about a block a game, but his mid-range shooting ability left a lot to be desired.  Jeffery Taylor surprised a lot of people chipping in around 20 minutes per game, averaging 6 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist per contest.  Taylor’s 3-point percentage wasn’t too great at roughly 35%, but the ability was there and some people thought he might push Gilchrist for the starting role in their Sophomore years.

Gilchrist obviously got the nod again, hoping to establish himself as a legitimate starter.  Near the end of December in the 2013 season, Jeffery Taylor suffered a nasty rupture of his right Achilles tendon, and had to sit the rest of the year.  In 26 games he was averaging 24 minutes a game, even starting 8 of them, and increased to 8 PPG, but his long ball and free throw percentage suffered dramatically.

With the addition of PJ Hairston in the draft, and the signing of Lance Stephenson, Jeffery Taylor seems to have went from a potential starter or Sixth Man, to a forgotten man on the newly named Hornets roster.  The last update I could find came from Rick Bonnell via Twitter.

“There’s no word as to how much his Achilles has healed or the extent of his workouts. Taylor ruptured his Achilles back on Dec. 20, but he’s hopeful to suit up for Las Vegas Summer League again. He outplayed Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at summer league and during the season, so he’ll have a chance to compete for the starting small forward job.”

Bonnell also went on to say that Taylor had reported to all the Hornet’s voluntary workouts and even threw down a Tomahawk Jam during workouts on June 11th.  Obviously Taylor wasn’t able to suit up for the Las Vegas Summer League, but I for one am excited to see Jeffery Taylor in training camp and in a Hornets jersey this year.  What do you guys think, can he come in and fill the 6th man role that seems to have been handed to Gerald Henderson, or is he getting swallowed up on the depth chart?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Tags: Charlotte Hornets Jeffrey Taylor Michael Kidd-gilchrist

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