Though not the type of major move that might be expected with rumors swirling around the team and December 15 being the unofficial start of trade season, when last summer’s free-agent signees become trade eligible, the Pacers made a change to the roster in signing Mad Ants wing Terry Taylor to a two-way contract, the team announced Wednesday.
Taylor, who is averaging 19.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists with Fort Wayne, joined the Pacers for training camp and does most of his work around the basket, where he’s converted 78 percent of his shots in the restricted area. With a nose for the ball, nearly 30 percent of those attempts are the result of feasting on shots classified as putbacks, but he also has the ability to dabble in the mid-post against mismatches and will occasionally roll to the basket, drive off a pitch from the perimeter, or grab-and-go in transition.
Recording double-doubles in eight of 11 games, the undrafted free agent out of Austin Peay operates somewhat similarly in role to that of former Mad Ant Alize Johnson, who played with a consistently high motor and worked on extending his range while also spending plenty of time in the dunker spot, gobbling up rebounds.
Having a great time watching Terry Taylor do things on a basketball court. pic.twitter.com/eBhM1HFFel— Dakota Schmidt (@Dakota_Schmidt) December 8, 2021
As a senior, Taylor’s three-point percentage dipped to 27.9 percent, but he knocked down 35.5 percent of his attempts over his first three seasons and is 5-of-16 with the Mad Ants.
In confirming the move, which was originally reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the team also announced that former Houston Cougars guard DeJon Jarreau, who is averaging 8.8 points and 3.5 rebounds with the Mad Ants, has been waived to open up the two-way slot for Taylor.
Barring injury or a midseason trade, Taylor doesn’t have a clear path to playing time with the Pacers, especially with Justin Holiday returning from health and safety protocols and Oshae Brissett contributing with increased playing time; however, as was the case with Edmond Sumner, there’s certainly no harm in monitoring his progress in the G League while taking a flyer and adding his talent as a do-everything workhorse to the pipeline.