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Illness Rumor May Have Cost Taylor Spot in Draft

June 29, 1989|ALAN DROOZ

How costly is a rumor?

In Leonard Taylor's case, a mistaken report of illness may have cost him a spot in Tuesday's National Basketball Assn. draft. But Wednesday, after some detective work, things looked brighter.

Aaron Goodwin, Taylor's agent, was so mystified when Taylor wasn't chosen Tuesday that he made phone calls Wednesday and came up with this scenario:

Taylor attended a scouting camp in Chicago but left early, returning to California when his grandmother became ill. Many of the teams' scouts hadn't yet arrived in Chicago and word began to circulate that it was Taylor who was ill.

When draft day came, Detroit reportedly put out the word that it would draft him 27th if he was still available. Milwaukee said it would use the third pick in the second round if Detroit passed. In both cases, he was available and both teams passed him over, making other teams think that there was something wrong. He went undrafted. "When Detroit and Milwaukee passed, it made other teams leery," Goodwin said.

By Wednesday, however, 10 teams had contacted Taylor and it appears he will get a good shot at making the NBA and can take his pick of Detroit, Golden State, San Antonio, Boston, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Houston, Washington, Chicago and Miami. Goodwin said several of the teams are willing to discuss a guaranteed contract.

"He's in a much better situation than it appeared yesterday," Goodwin said. "Leonard's on Cloud 10 now. He's actually in a better situation than a lot of second round picks."

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