Undrafted after forgoing his final season with the Texas Longhorns, Rio Grande Valley Vipers point guard Isaiah Taylor signed a three-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Houston Rockets on Monday, according to multiple reports.
Taylor will remain with the Vipers for the near future, according to ESPN’s Calvin Watkins.
Despite missing a significant amount of time due to a leg injury, the 6’2, 170-pounder has been a standout in the NBA Developmental League this season, averaging 21.1 points and 6.1 assists in 31.1 minutes per game.
Most notably, the career 29.2 percent three-point shooter in college has significantly increased his range since the end of his junior season, hitting 19-of-46 threes with the Vipers, good enough for 41.3 percent.
Based on the highlights, help defense and shot blockers at the rim are in short supply in the NBDL, so Taylor won’t be able to score as many easy baskets when he gets his shot with the Rockets, but if he can continue to emerge as a credible outside shooter, he could end up making an impact in the NBA.
Right now, instead of leading Shaka Smart’s team this season, Taylor is still “damn near Mexico,” as he texted his coach at one point. However, he’s also one step closer to getting back to the town where he finished his high school basketball career.
Taylor spent the summer league with the Rockets and had a previous contract that was partially guaranteed and now has a greater commitment from the franchise.
“I think we all know Isaiah is talented enough to play in the NBA, he just needs to continue getting better,” Smart said in January. “Isaiah is smart. I think he’s really, really smart, so I’m pulling for him. If he was a stock, I would bet on him.”