Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Why Highly-Touted SF Belongs with Cleveland Cavaliers
A strong showing in Cleveland could be a sign of things to come, but that's assuming MKG isn't first selected by either the Bobcats or the Washington Wizards, who own the second and third overall draft picks, respectively.
The Bobcats could still ultimately decide to trade their selection, but it wouldn't be at all surprising to see them take Kidd-Gilchrist in the event they don't. The Wizards similarly have use for a small forward, so there's a very real possibility the Cavaliers will never have a shot at the standout freshman.
Then again, guys like Bradley Beal and Thomas Robinson make compelling cases to be taken ahead of Kidd-Gilchrist.
Given Cleveland's need for an upgrade on the wing, MKG sliding may be the best possible scenario for Byron Scott's young, rebuilding club.
Cleveland, by most counts, is the odd’s on favorite to get Kidd-Gilchrist and would unite him with former Duke guard Kyrie Irving. “He’s one of my best friends. He’s a great guy. He’s a leader. I would love to play with Kyrie."
If there's one knock on MKG, it's that he's not yet an adequate perimeter shooter, but the young Cavaliers could afford to wait for him to improve the offensive end of his game.
This is a team that's still a couple of years away from re-establishing itself as a force in the Eastern Conference. Outside of Irving, power forward Tristan Thompson and center Anderson Varejao, Cleveland's roster isn't especially close to where general manager Chris Grant wants it to be when all is said and done.
That said, it's not as if Kidd-Gilchrist is nothing more than a long-term project.
He already plays tenacious on-ball defense and makes the kind of hustle plays that differentiate over-hyped prospects from sure-to-be NBA stars. His leadership, work ethic and maturity are well beyond his years, and he'd fit perfectly into the kind of culture Cleveland wants to cultivate in the locker room.
Of course, it takes more than personality and toughness to make a superstar.
Fortunately, this guy has those things too.
In other words, he certainly has the physical tools to do what All-Stars do.
With a open-court beast like Kidd-Gilchrist running the floor with Irving and the youth this team continues to acquire, the Cavaliers would be well on their way to becoming not only one of this league's most promising clubs—but also one of its most exciting.
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