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Phoenix Suns NBA Draft Series: Jeffery Taylor, SF, Vanderbilt

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With the NBA Draft fast approaching on June 28, we at Bright Side of the Sun want to cover all the bases regarding the possible players who the Suns could draft.

Depending on the decisions the Suns make in free agency this season, nearly every position could be considered an area of need.

With the future of Grant Hill an uncertainty, and Jared Dudley and Josh Childress being the only wings currently under contract, small forward can certainly be considered a position in need of attention.

If the Suns choose to address this position, one of the candidates they could choose to draft this year is Jefferey Taylor.

For those of you who have been following the mock drafts, you may have noticed that most analysts believe Jeffery Taylor will be drafted in the late first or early second round, not the lottery. So why would the Suns have any interest in him with the #13th pick? Well, most likely they wouldn't.

However, as our own Alex Laugan pointed out, this is a buyers market with plenty of teams willing to trade or outright sell their picks for the right price.

So even though the Suns don't currently have any additional picks beyond the 13th, with as many holes as they have to fill, along with trying to convince their franchise free agent point guard to stay, they may feel the need to significantly upgrade their roster and acquire young talent through one of the cheapest means possible...the draft.

If the Suns choose to address one of the guard positions with their 13th pick, they may still seek a way to add an additional first round talent at another position for a lesser price. Jeffery Taylor is considered by many analysts to be one of the best values in the draft where he is currently projected to be taken, and many believe he will be a very solid contributor at the next level. We do know that the Suns already invited Jeffery Taylor in for a workout, so obviously there is some level of interest there, and Taylor's position is certainly a good match for Phoenix as well. So if the Suns do either buy or trade their way into the late first/early second round, Taylor would certainly be a viable option.

But would Jeffery Taylor be the right fit for the Suns? Read on after the jump for a closer look.

Jefferey Taylor is a 6'7" senior SF from Vanderbilt who is known for his tremendous athleticism, speed, quickness, and great defense.

Until his senior year, his skill-set could be said to end right there. One of the biggest knocks on Taylor has always been his inconsistency as a shooter. However, he has greatly improved his game in this regard, especially from beyond the arc. Taylor went from shooting just 22% from three in his freshman season to 42% beyond the arc as a senior.

Taylor also steadily improved his overall offensive game over his four-year career at Vanderbilt. He was the second highest scorer on the Commodores this season averaging 16.1 points per game while shooting 49.3% from the field, to go along with his 5.6 rebounds per game as well. Taylor also played a major part in helping to lead Vanderbilt all the way to the SEC championship this season by beating the heavily favored (and eventual NCAA champion) Kentucky Wildcats in a stunning upset. Unfortunately for Taylor, the Commodores wouldn't fare nearly as well in the NCAA tournament as they were defeated in the third round by Wisconsin.

At the NBA pre-draft combine, Taylor's numbers were even better than expected. He measured 6'7.5" in shoes at 213lbs with a 40 inch vertical, and an 8'5.5" standing reach. Taylor also posted the fourth lowest 3/4 court sprint time at the combine at 3.19 seconds, and the second lowest in the lane agility drill at 10.57 seconds.

Here are the stats from Taylor's four seasons at Vanderbilt:

Basic Statistics

Year Min Pts FG FGA FG% 2Pt 2PtA 2P% 3Pt 3PtA 3P% FTM FTA FT% Off Def TOT Asts Stls Blks TOs PFs
2008/09 26.0 12.2 4.4 8.7 50.2 4.1 7.4 55.2 0.3 1.3 22.0 3.1 4.5 69.1 2.6 3.5 6.2 1.7 0.9 0.4 2.2 2.5
2009/10 26.8 13.3 4.5 9.1 49.3 4.5 8.8 50.9 0.0 0.3 9.1 4.3 5.7 74.6 1.9 3.3 5.2 1.7 1.1 0.4 2.2 2.6
2010/11 31.7 14.7 5.0 11.2 44.9 3.9 7.9 49.3 1.1 3.3 34.5 3.5 4.9 71.9 1.7 3.9 5.5 2.4 1.0 0.6 2.6 2.4
2011/12 32.1 16.1 5.8 11.8 49.3 4.0 7.5 53.3 1.8 4.3 42.3 2.6 4.4 60.5 2.1 3.4 5.6 1.7 1.3 0.4 2.2 1.9

Efficiency Statistics

Player Info Shooting Ratios Passing Ratios Defensive Ratios
Year Min PTs/g FGA/g Pts/Play TS% eFG% FTA/FGA 3PA/FGA Ast/g Ast/FGA A/TO PPR BK/g STL/g PF/g
2008/09 26.0 12.2 8.7 0.93 0.56 0.52 0.51 0.15 1.7 0.20 0.77 -4.23 0.4 0.9 2.5
2009/10 26.8 13.3 9.1 0.95 0.56 0.50 0.63 0.04 1.7 0.19 0.77 -4.12 0.4 1.1 2.6
2010/11 31.7 14.7 11.2 0.92 0.55 0.50 0.44 0.30 2.4 0.21 0.92 -3.17 0.6 1.0 2.4
2011/12 32.1 16.1 11.8 1.00 0.58 0.57 0.37 0.37 1.7 0.15 0.78 -3.29 0.4 1.3 1.9

Usage Statistics

Player Info Complete Metrics Possession Info Possession Ratios
Year Min PER EFF EFF/40 WS/40 Pos/g Tm Pos/g % Tm Pos Pts/Pos FGA/Pos FTA/Pos Ast/Pos TO/Pos
2008/09 26.0 22.3 13.4 20.7 9.1 11.4 68.1 16.8 1.06 0.76 0.39 0.15 0.19
2009/10 26.8 21.5 13.4 20.0 7.7 12.3 70.2 17.5 1.08 0.74 0.47 0.14 0.18
2010/11 31.7 19.6 14.1 17.8 6.7 13.8 68.2 20.3 1.06 0.81 0.35 0.17 0.18
2011/12 32.1 23.5 15.2 18.9 8.6 14.0 66.3 21.2 1.15 0.84 0.31 0.12 0.16

Looking at these stats you can see that the three point shot is really the most noticeable area of improvement over Taylor's four years at Vanderbilt. He has always shot the ball at right around 50% from the field overall, and his points per game have really only increased due to his minutes increasing along with them.

That's not necessarily a bad thing though...One of Taylor's greatest strengths has always been his defense, and he has consistently done well in this aspect of his game. He has also always had a great first step and been very quick at getting to the rim. But his improved three point shooting gives him another way to contribute at the next level, and this is an area of his game he has really worked hard at developing and has really paid off for him...and could make him that much more valuable to a team that depends on the outside shooting ability of the wings, like the Suns.

The only real knocks against Taylor are his age (23) and that he's not a great iso scorer or all that great at creating his own shot. But Taylor brings a great deal of NBA readiness with his game along with incredible athleticism and a high motor, and could be a steal as a late first round pick, or especially as an early second round prospect if he's still available.

I expect the Suns will at least be ready to wheel-and-deal come draft day, and I wouldn't be surprised if Taylor is someone they keep a close eye on.

*All stats provided by

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