Guard Swap! Donell Taylor Traded to Idaho for Mike Gansey

Former NBA player Donell Taylor is now also a former BayHawk, traded to the Idaho Stampede for Mike Gansey.

This news is a few days old, but I wanted to put some thoughts down.  The Idaho Stampede traded Mike Gansey to the Erie BayHawks for Donell Taylor.  Taylor was Erie's first round pick in this year's draft; Gansey was Idaho's sixth round pick.

Things clearly haven't been working for the 4-9 BayHawks, so a move isn't too surprising, but trading Taylor sort of is.  In addition to being their first round pick he's a former NBA player and a pretty good perimeter defender.  Some of the team's struggles this season have come from the fact that they made Taylor the starting point guard - he's been averaging a hair under three and a half turnovers per game and a little less than three assists a game.  The thing with that, though, is that he's not really a point guard.  Players of all positions need to take care of the ball, but it's hard to blame Taylor for not being something that he's never been.  Age 27 is a bit late to change your game.  Still, adding Cliff Clinkscales gave Erie an actual second point guard for their roster (along with Cedric Jackson), so they obviously felt comfortable moving Taylor.

Even as an unbiased observer, I'm a little sad to see Gansey leave Idaho because I thought he was a perfect fit for that offense.  He's a smart, efficient scorer who does well coming off of screens and can contribute in other areas a little bit - he has five games this season with five or more rebounds, and he has at least one steal in every game save two.  He has struggled a bit in his last three games, however, and at 6-5 the Stampede probably aren't where they thought they'd be when the season began (though they were without Anthony Tolliver for several games).  Taylor is actually shooting threes as well as Gansey is so far this season, plus he's a better rebounder and a much better defender.

Looking at this trade, I'm mostly confused.  I would've liked to see the BayHawks try playing Taylor at shooting guard for a little longer - Martin Zeno isn't exactly lighting up the scoreboard, and as I mentioned, Gansey's not really shooting any better than Taylor.  Trading for Gansey seems to be almost exclusively a local interest move, as he's an Ohio native (and Erie actually drafted him last year, only to see him head overseas).  On Idaho's side, perimeter defense is always welcome, but the Stampede backcourt is crowded as it is.  Sundiata Gaines, Lanny Smith, Roberto Bergersen, Mildon Ambres, the recently-assigned Patty Mills...which one of these guys takes a smaller role?  Mills will obviously play, and Gaines and Smith have played well enough this season (an understatement in Gaines's case) to maintain their playing time.  Bergersen is valued for his three-point shooting (although he's doing about as well as Taylor and Gansey), and Ambres has been an excellent rebounder this year for his size (6'5", and averaging just under nine boards per game).  I would expect to see a lot of three-guard lineups, which MacKinnon used often in Colorado last season, and Emmanuel Jones could end up as the odd man out.  I'm not sure, however, that Taylor's turnovers will come down all that much playing in such a high-possession offense.

The timing likely played a part in this, with the Showcase now just days away, but I think that's actually a negative for the players.  Having just a game or two to adjust and acclimate onesself to a new team and a new system before playing in front of a collection of scouts and other front office-types means that these moves will have to work almost immediately.  It's possible that Erie felt like they had to make a move now to save their season, and that Idaho wanted some insurance in case Sundiata Gaines either got a call-up or some other offer, but - and here's the kind of opinion that you can only get at Ridiculous Upside - we'll have to see whether it works or not.

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