Maccabi Tel Aviv signed Kameron Taylor to a one-year deal with an option for an additional season. The guard spent the last two years in Germany with the last campaign at Hamburg with the Towers and the previous campaign with Brose Bamberg.
Taylor averaged 13.6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in roughly 28 minutes per game in the BBL German League last year and is known for his suffocating defense. The 26-year old attended Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania and began his career in the lower divisions of German basketball.
Maccabi head coach Ioannis Sfairopoulos spoke about his new guard, “Kameron Taylor is a player who has shown that he has all the skills and all the potential to be a member of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. He has great abilities, a winning mentality and the toughness we want to bring to the team. He’s another player who will help us fight for our goals. Welcome to Maccabi, Kameron Taylor.”
Taylor also talked about moving to play with the Yellow & Blue, “It is definitely a great honor for me to take the next step to a fantastic organization with a fan base like Maccabi’s, which is one of the best in Europe. I want to thank you for the opportunity and can no longer wait to get started.”
Lukas Feldhaus, The Sports Rabbi’s European Expert based in Germany offered his instant reaction to the signing:
“Kam Taylor’s career has been a rollercoaster so far. Coming out of a D2 college he started his pro career in German D2 for Ehingen, which has always been one of the teams with the lowest budgets in the league.
“He was a decent but not impressive factor in helping Ehingen stay in the league by a margin of one win. Taylor was a defensive specialist for them and averaged about 11 points, 4 rebounds in addition to a steal and a block per game. Players who didn’t stand out in German D2 sometimes even had to be afraid of not being able to continue their pro career, especially back then when German D2 did not receive a lot of credit.
“Kam Taylor then moved to Rhöndorf of German D3. Rhöndorf was the farm team of Telekom Baskets Bonn from the BBL. He played outstanding in D3 and dominated with his athleticism and mid-range game. Right after that season, 2017-2018, he would sign with Würzburg of the BBL for the rest of that season. He showed good flashes. However, he struggled to show consistency on the offensive end in Dirk Bauermann’s half court oriented offense. He averaged about 9 points at merely 13 % from 3-pt range in his eight games for Würzburg.
“This is why his career experienced a slight set back when he signed with PVSK in the first Hungarian league, which can be considered slightly better than German D2 but worse than the BBL. Taylor played great there and ended up signing with Bamberg of the BBL and BCL in 2019. He had a great start into that season averaging 17.5 points per game in his first four BBL games for Bamberg. However, he lost consistency in Roel Moors’ half court oriented game after a good start. I think that signing a quite similar player in Retin Obasohan early in the season did not help him either. Moreover, he would be out of action for one month due to a shoulder injury. After the Covid break he finished the season strong at the final tournament where he averaged about 13 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
“After that rather disappointing season for Bamberg, the club wanted a brand new start and therefore parted ways with almost every player, including Kam Taylor. Taylor moved to Hamburg, an ambitious club which came out of a disappointing 2019-2020 campaign which. they finished as last in the standings.
“Kam Taylor played the best of his career and was the defensive key player for one of the best defensive teams in BBL. He did a great job guarding opponents’ best wing players. Moreover, he played a great season offensively as an off-guard or point forward. He was very consistent through that season except for a small period after he suffered from a minor hamstring Injury. Unfortunately, he had to sit out the last small part of the season due to an ankle injury. He came back for the first playoff game but re-injured his ankle in that game.
“Kam Taylor’s biggest quality is his defense on the wing. He is a physical player with great wingspan who can guard every position from 1 to 3. He even defended at the 4 position for Bamberg and Hamburg on occasions. He is great at playing deny defense and anticipating plays. He had 8 steals in a game against Bamberg last season. Moreover, his off-ball awareness is excellent. He is a good defensive rebounder and has also averaged at least 0.5 blocks in five seasons, which is a great number for a guard/wing. His main weakness on defense may be his lateral quickness, which is not on a very high level. He is a stronger defender at the wing positions. He will definitely fit into Ioannis Sfairopoulos’ defensive schemes as he is good at executing and as he can also switch on taller players, although Hamburg did not have a lot of switching on their defense.
“Offensively his biggest quality is probably his ability to handle the ball as a player of his size. In addition, he is good at attacking the rim and drawing fouls. In Rhöndorf his signature move was the mid-range pull-up jumper. However, he has extended his range a bit over the years and now takes more 3s. He averaged 4.4 3-p attempts for Hamburg (per RealGM) last season which has been the largest amount of 3-pt attempts in his professional career. His main weaknesses on offense have been his confidence in his 3-pt shot and the lack of superb ball handling skills in my opinion. Granted he is a good ball handler for his size, he sometimes struggles to create separation against agile defenders. In addition, he has not been an overly creative passer. Moreover, he has been quite hesitant at taking 3s except in his recent year with Hamburg despite even shooting 40 3P% in some seasons. It remains to be seen if he can stick to his performances and quality as a wing playmaker if he has a smaller role on EuroLeague level. It would help his game if Maccabi could stick to their fast-paced offense from the 2019-2020 campaign.
“All in all, Maccabi can look forward to a potentially great defender with a big heart and glue guy qualities and a versatile package on offense. He was one of the engines to an excellent season for Hamburg in 2020-2021 and could also mature into one of the fan’s favorites in Tel Aviv.”