NBA Draft Lottery 2012: Wizards Must Find Way to Land Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
The Washington Wizards finished with the second-worst record in the NBA and need to draft a player who will spark ticket sales and contribute immediately.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should be their man.
The Wizards have no identity, unless you consider John Wall sprinting down the court and going crashing into the paint for some wild layup an identity. But they just acquired a veteran center in Nene and all is not lost for Wall as he has a lot of learning to do.
Wall can turn himself into a one-man fast break and he often has to, as the rest of the Wizards have a problem running with him. Kidd-Gilchrist is the guy who would turn that one-man fast break into an effective Wizards transition game.
He's not that good at creating for himself and has a long way to go in regards to his offensive game, so he resorts to getting his points in the transition game. If you put him at the small forward spot where he can utilize his shut down perimeter defense, that gives him an opportunity to get off and running with Wall in the transition game.
He's big enough (6'7" 228 pounds) to cover the better players in the game at the three-spot, but he also has an aggressive mentality to go with his propensity to seek contact. I think he could pan out to be a bit like Andre Iguodala as he isn't much of a shooter yet. The comparison draws from his defense and effectiveness in transition, but if he polishes his offensive game, he could be light years ahead of Iguodala when all is said and done.
He can guard small guys and power forwards and hardly got beat off the dribble in his only year at Kentucky. You know he can get his spacing on the offensive end based on his success in John Calipari's dribble-drive offense. Who coached Wall in college? Oh yeah, that's right, Calipari. They both know the dribble-drive well and it could turn the Wizards around if they can effectively employ it.
Should the Wizards draft Kidd-Gilchrist?
Take a look at the small forwards currently on the Washington roster.
Rashard Lewis turns 33 in August and contributes next to nothing anyway. Maurice Evans is already 33 and probably soon to be on the outs. Chris Singleton played just under 22 minutes per game in the regular season and scored a whopping 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
It's too early to give up on him, though, as he's only 22.
None of those guys possess the physical gifts or the ability to score in the paint through contact like Kidd-Gilchrist does. He's a guy you can win with and has been labeled as such since a very early age. He's not a guy who's going to put up 25 a game, but the Wizards don't need him to because they have Wall, who is only effective with the ball in his hands.
MKG moves without the ball impeccably well for a young player, and he isn't one to complain if he's not getting enough touches because he finds other ways to impact the game.
If Kidd-Gilchrist is still on the board when the Wizards pick in the 2012 NBA draft, they have to add the consummate defender and relentless competitor to their roster.
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