Former D-Leaguers-turned-NBAers Steve Novak and Mike Taylor aren’t quite ready to give up playing pro ball here in the States, and are looking to start again from square one. Scott Schroeder of NBA FanHouse has reported that both Novak and Taylor have signed contracts to return to the D-League in an effort to showcase their talents for NBA clubs. According to Schroeder, Novak will join the Reno Bighorns, and Taylor will be a member of the Iowa Energy.
Novak can shoot like an NBA player, but doesn’t really look, move, or defend like one. He’s a specialist, and in the right defensive system, his teammates might be able to cover his back in a pinch. Novak spent most of this season as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, albeit one who wasn’t able to crack the rotation, even for clean-up minutes. A club desperate for range might be willing to pick him up, but Novak hurts his chances with his lack of versatility. He isn’t a hustle player, or even a glue guy, really. He doesn’t fill in the gaps. He just shoots, and does so almost exclusively from long range. Nothing wrong with that for a team in the market, but NBA teams so rarely peruse the D-League marketplace for standstill shooters.
Taylor isn’t quite as limited, but he’s a 6-2 athlete with more utility as a scorer than as a playmaker. During his year with the Clippers in 2009, Taylor was at his best either driving or slashing to the rim, though his drive-and-kick potential is rather limited. In Taylor, teams may find a decent bench scorer who can handle the ball a bit, but it’s probably better for everyone involved if he’s not initiating offensive sets.