Detroit Pistons Draft Targets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2012

LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 21:  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Rupp Arena on January 21, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

This is the seventh in this series. The first six explored a variety of prospects that likely will be available in this year's draft.

My Take

Before writing about Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, I was set on the next in this series being about his teammate Terrence Jones.

However, the last few Kentucky games have really soured me on Jones, and I want him to have a few more games under his belt before I write about him; as of right now, Jones' game disgusts me.

Luckily for me, Kentucky is such a stacked team that I have a few other options to write about before I have to come back to Jones.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is relatively new on the scene and has been somewhat overshadowed by his talented teammate Anthony Davis.

And while it's easy to get overlooked when playing on a team as talent-rich as Kentucky, Kidd-Gilchrist has quietly distinguished himself through his athletic and energetic play.

Kidd-Gilchrist is your classic slasher, able to create his own shot on offense although his perimeter shot still needs some work as evidenced by his sub .300 three point shooting.

Like his much more heralded teammate, Kidd-Gilchrist distinguishes himself in my eyes on defense. He can defend up to four different positions, and his on-the-ball defense is already excellent.

He does not always play with a lot of discipline on either end of the court, but his long arms and athleticism make up for any bad decisions in putting himself outside of the play on defense.

While someone like Harrison Barnes seems to always be in the right spot on both sides of the court due to their basketball intelligence, Kidd-Gilchrist seems to get there due to sheer athleticism.

I am very intrigued to see what Kidd-Gilchrist does in the NCAA tournament; typically, the tournament becomes a perimeter-based game, and Kidd-Gilchrist could become the focal point of the Wildcat offense.

What you really like about Kidd-Gilchrist is his offensive creativity. In that sense, he reminds me somewhat of Jalen Rose; it isn't always pretty, but it gets done.

At the next level, you have to love Kidd-Gilchrist's defensive potential. He could come in and right away challenge ball-handlers, and he has a frame that could carry up to 20 more pounds of muscle.

What I wonder about is what type of offensive player he will become. Obviously, you would expect his perimeter shot to improve over time, but what if it doesn't? Do you really want to use up a high draft pick on a slasher?

The other question I have about Kidd-Gilchrist is his attitude. He seems to be a leader, but at the same time, he can get emotional on the court. You like your players to have a fire to them, but you don't want them to go over the top.

This is something that bears watching, but I feel that this fire of his could help in the right setting, and certainly helps his defensive intensity.

Overall, however, I think good coaching and a team that is committed to defense will be a good fit for Kidd-Gilchrist.

Scout's Take By ESPN

Projection Top 10 Pick
  • Elite athlete
  • Amazing motor
  • Tough, physical defender
  • Excellent rebounder
  • Attacks the rim on offense
  • Lacks a consistent perimeter game

How He Fits Detroit

Detroit needs athletes, and Detroit needs defenders. Kidd-Gilchrist fits both of these bills.

However, Detroit has a bigger need up front, and if they draft as high as I believe they will, they should be focusing on someone like Kidd-Gilchrist's teammate Davis or Connecticut's Andre Drummond.

That being said, if Detroit can find a way to secure another lottery pick (not out of the question), then Kidd-Gilchrist would certainly be a fit.

Furthermore, if for some reason Detroit slips in the draft, they could look at Kidd-Gilchrist if Davis, Drummond or Thomas Robinson are off the board.

I like Kidd-Gilchrist as a player, and I like him for Detroit. He has the type of toughness and hustle that Detroit fans would love. If he can become more versatile on offense, the sky is the limit for him.


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