Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Kentucky Star Will Make Instant Impact

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 28, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 and Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrate in the first half against the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has two very important qualities going for him as the 2012 NBA daft approaches: a fantastic motor and great athleticism. Because of those two qualities, he will make an immediate impact in the NBA.

He won't come in as a star, primarily because he needs to develop a dependable jump shot first. MKG only shot 25.5 percent from three-point range last year at Kentucky.

Because of his work ethic and workmanlike approach to the game, I have confidence he'll improve in this area.

He's already a big and physical small forward at 6'8", 233 pounds. He's capable of rebounding in traffic and driving the ball to the basket effectively.

Developing a jump shot would make him a more legitimate threat on the offensive end, but his skill set is already solid.

On defense, he already has the skills to step in and take on difficult assignments. If you want a defensive comparison for him, take a look at the impact Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard had this year.

MKG can have a similar impact.

In many ways, I believe he is better suited for a contender. He isn't a dynamic scoring threat at this time, so if you put him on a team with a proven scorer, his ability to run the floor, defend, rebound and finish would be even more valuable.

A setup like this would also hide the aspect of his game that isn't as developed.

The Lakers are said to covet MKG, per Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, and with Kobe and company, MKG could play a Trevor Ariza-like role.

His defense and toughness would be an awesome addition to a team like that. He may be the reason the Lakers are said to be interested in moving into the top 10.

Wherever he lands, he will be an asset to the team he joins. Every team could use a player like MKG.

 

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