The likes of Jeremy Lamb, DeAndre Liggins, and Perry Jones III (and previously Daniel Orton, too) had been in constant rotation between OKC and Tulsa (the home of the D-League affiliate 66ers) all season long before the 66ers were eliminated by the RGV Vipers in the NBADL playoffs just a few days ago. Each player has gone back and forth between cities (and each one's respective team) to ensure they get the most reps on the court as possible. The Thunder are committed to each player's development, because they know full well each of them could play a part in the NBA team's contending future.
With this all in mind, it's no surprise that the organization is reportedly set to bring 66ers' guard Tony Taylor Jr. aboard its Summer League team this coming July.
OKC clearly appreciates promising young talent, and Taylor undoubtedly did what he could all season long to prove he was just that. After starting the season off strongly, the GWU alum took a back seat to NBA veteran Chris Quinn, who was brought in by the team midseason. Nevertheless, Taylor still appeared in all 50 games, starting 24. He owns season-averages of 7 points (on 42% from the field and 41% from deep) and 3.2 assists per contest. His shooting percentage from long range ranked in the top among fellow NBADL point guards.
<iframe width="420" height="305" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/aNAcZbJtwI4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Taylor arguably finished the season even stronger than he started it, because with Quinn earning an NBA call-up with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Sleepy Hollow, New York native was free to resume his starting role.
He led the way as starting floor general for the 66ers through the D-League playoffs, even looking like a minor league All-Star in Tulsa's final game. Despite a 113-106 loss by the 66ers, Taylor finished with 12 points and 12 assists on no turnovers, and had a plus/minus of +4 for the game.
Such an effort put a cherry on top of Taylor's final playoff stats, complete with averages of 11.2 points (on 54% from the field and 43% from long range), 5.4 assists, and 1 steal through five games.
Could this same promising stretch have been what sealed the deal for the Thunder, or was his steady progression all season long enough to convince them he's worth a look this summer?
Either way, Taylor will enter a very good situation. Not only will he be trying out for a winning organization, but he'll likely be doing so alongside fellow 66er teammates and past OKC assignees. His familiarity and comfortability with each one is sure to help him thrive.