Jeffery Matthew Taylor (born May 23, 1989) is a Swedish-American professional basketball player who currently plays for Real Madrid of the Liga ACB. He played college basketball for Vanderbilt University, before being drafted 31st overall by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2012 NBA draft.
High school career
After Taylor's freshman season of 2008–09, DraftExpress.com said, "One of the most pleasant surprises in last season’s mediocre SEC [Southeastern Conference] was the emergence of Vanderbilt freshman Jeff Taylor." He averaged 12.2 points and 6.2 rebounds on his way to SEC All-Freshman honors. However, he showed one weakness in an otherwise solid season by shooting only 22 percent from three-point range.
His sophomore season saw some progress, but also some cause for concern; one scout said near the end of the season, "while he is improved in many areas, he has regressed in some as well." Taylor improved his scoring average to 13.3 per game, but his rebounding dropped slightly to 5.2 per game. The most obvious issue was his perimeter shooting, which saw a decline; he attempted only 11 three-pointers and made only one. Nonetheless, he was named to the All-SEC second team by the league's coaches, and was also named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.
In 2010–11, he further established his reputation as a defensive stopper, frequently being called on to defend every position on the floor except center while again being named to the SEC All-Defensive Team. Taylor also improved his three-point shooting to a more respectable 34.5% while attempting more than twice as many shots from behind the arc as in his first two seasons combined. Averaging 14.7 points and 5.5 rebounds, he was again named second-team All-SEC.
Taylor was widely viewed as a potential early entry into the 2011 NBA draft, based mainly on his athleticism and defensive skills. However, he decided to stay at Vanderbilt for his senior season in 2011–12. His decision to return, along with those of fellow stars John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli, made the Commodores a likely preseason top-10 pick.
Charlotte Bobcats / Hornets (2012–2015)
On November 23, 2012, Taylor scored a career high 16 points in a 91–101 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
On December 21, 2013, it was announced that Taylor would miss the remainder of the season with a torn right Achilles tendon. He had been averaging 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game.
After serving out his 24-game suspension by the NBA that was handed down to him in September 2014, Taylor was set to return to action with a stint in the NBA Development League with the Hornets' affiliate team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. However, with the maximum allowance of four NBA players already being on assignment to the Mad Ants, the flexible assignment rule was used on December 28, 2014 so the Hornets could assign Taylor to the Austin Spurs, the San Antonio Spurs' one-to-one D-League affiliate. He was recalled by the Hornets on January 9, 2015.
On June 30, 2015, the Hornets decided not to extend a qualifying offer to Taylor, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.
Real Madrid (2015–present)
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Taylor participated in the 2013 edition of the EuroBasket. It was his first official appearance with the Swedish senior squad. He was Sweden's top scorer, averaging 21.2 points per game, along with 4.6 rebounds per game.
Taylor is the second-oldest of the six children of Jeff Taylor, who briefly played in the NBA before playing in Sweden, where he has lived ever since. While the younger Taylor is a citizen of both Sweden and the United States by birth, he played for Norrköping Dolphins youth team, and has lived in the U.S. since 2006, he has said, "...if someone asks where I'm from, I say Sweden." However, he grew up steeped in the basketball culture of Hobbs, New Mexico, where his father was a high school star in the late 1970s:
Taylor left Sweden for Hobbs in 2006, at the age of 17, moving in with his grandmother. Besides his desire to play at his father's alma mater, he determined that playing high school basketball in America would enhance his college basketball prospects. He quickly drew major interest from NCAA Division I programs, especially after a senior season when he averaged more than 30 points while leading Hobbs to a state title.
Taylor, named one of the top 150 recruits in the country by ESPN, considered about a half-dozen schools before narrowing his choices to Vanderbilt and Texas, eventually choosing Vanderbilt. He was one of three top-150 recruits signed by Commodores head coach Kevin Stallings in 2008.
On September 25, 2014, Taylor was arrested at a hotel in East Lansing, Michigan, charged with one count of domestic assault, assault, and malicious destruction of property. He was later suspended by the NBA for 24 games without pay after he pleaded guilty to the charges.