Tyshawn Taylor drafted by Portland Trailblazers, traded to Brooklyn Nets
- Jun. 28, 2012
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Vikaas Shanker contributed to this report.
KU guard Tyshawn Taylor was selected with the 11th pick of the the second round in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers, but was immediately traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
Taylor was expected to get drafted late in the first round or early second round, but he was prepared for any outcome. “It’s weird, because I thought to myself at the beginning of the draft that I probably would get drafted by a team that I didn’t work out for. And that’s exactly the case with Brooklyn,” Taylor said in a teleconference after the draft.
Taylor, who watched the draft from Room 84 nightclub in his hometown Hoboken, N.J., said it was frustrating to see his name fall down the draft board.
“I was sitting on a step inside this restaurant,” Taylor said, “shaking my head at the pick before me and was a little bit upset. I was hearing different things.”
Since Taylor was drafted in the second round, he is not guaranteed a contract for the upcoming season. However, Taylor believes the experience he gained at KU will help him at the next level.
“I feel like I have the opportunity anyway because of what I can bring for a team. I can defend,” Taylor said. “Being a four-year player at a university like Kansas, I think, gives me a step up in competition of coming into the league ready — ready to play right now.”
KU Coach Bill Self said Taylor’s relentless work ethic will help him stick in the league.
“He’s not scared of work,” Self said. “And his athletic ability and his talent will win out over time. Because all he’s got to do is just be who he is.”
The 6-3 guard averaged 16.6 points and 4.8 assists his senior year at KU. Taylor was a third team All-American and first team All-Big 12.
Taylor grew up in New Jersey, the former home of the Nets. The team has a new owner, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who moved the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I’m really excited about the new opportunity,” Taylor said. “You know a new arena, a new program, they are trying to start over.”
The Nets are also part-owned by record producer Jay-Z, a big enthusiast of the Nets. “I haven’t met him, but I’m looking forward to it,” Taylor said.
Taylor will join former Bill Self recruit, point guard Deron Williams, in the backcourt provided Williams doesn’t leave in free agency. He will play under head coach Avery Johnson.