After the Brooklyn Nets traded Tyshawn Taylor to New Orleans in return for the rights of Edin Bavcic and some cash earlier this season, the Pelicans soon waived the former Jayhawk, which sent him back to a place he grew familiar with in his rookie season: The D-League.
During the 2012-2013 season, Taylor found himself playing in eight games with the Springfield Armor while on assignment from the Nets and he made the most out of his opportunity. In 37.5 minutes per game, the 6-foot-3 guard raised some eyebrows, averaging 24.6 points, 7.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals. While that production didn't translate into a lot of court time with the Nets, he got a bigger opportunity at the start of this season when Deron Williams missed a chunk of games as a result of some nagging injuries. As the only backup point guard on the team, Taylor saw his minutes double, as well as his shot-attempts per game, yet his production remained the same - he struggled to score and continued to turn the ball over at a high rate. Despite a few good performances here and there, the Nets' win-now mentality may have had something to do with their decision to ship the young gun off somewhere else, which is why he found himself involved in that deal that has now led him to the NBADL.
In the hope of returning to the NBA soon, Taylor joined the Maine Red Claws on January 30th and after a rough start (which saw him average less than 10 points and nearly a handful of turnovers in the month of February) he's starting to find his groove again. On March 6th, he scored a then season-high 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting and and three days later against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, he had one of the most impressive stat-lines the D-League will see all season. In 41 minutes, he recorded 33 points, 15 assists, 8 rebounds and 3 steals in the Red Claws' 25-point victory.
At the start of the season, Taylor didn't appear to be playing with the same confidence that he was last year. But now, he is starting to play like his old self again. Following his dominating performance, Taylor told the Portland Press Herald that he's starting to come along and even admitted that his current situation has taken some adjusting.
I had the safety net of knowing I had a team to go back to. I knew that Brooklyn was not a good place for me. The Pelicans didn't need me because they have a lot of guards. It's just part of the business. A lot of (getting to) the NBA is being in the right situation.
In his rookie season, Taylor showcased a knack for getting to the rim and while he is a scorer by nature, he is a more than capable passer. The questions surrounding him have always involved his ability to run a team effectively by taking care of the ball and improving his shot selection. While he still turned it over far too many times last night against the Mad Ants, he took smart shots and did a great job of setting up his teammates for easy looks. Seeing as he's not long removed from playing in the NBA, it wouldn't come as a huge surprise to see him back on the big stage before the regular season comes to a close.