This—among others—was the draft selection that the Charlotte Bobcats really could not afford to botch. Rich Cho and Michael Jordan have Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson as the ostensible core of their team, and while all three project out to be legitimate NBA players (with Henderson already there), none of the above has demonstrated the talent nor production worthy of being an actual franchise cornerstone. The 'Cats are banking on improvement, but they needed a bit more stability and much more certainty going forward; a wasted pick in this year's draft had the potential to only steepen the slope of an uphill climb, and if nothing else, Charlotte can rest assured in knowing that it's selected one of this draft's surest bets short of Anthony Davis.
Kansas' Thomas Robinson—who was frequently mock drafted at second overall—was arguably the better pick for Charlotte, but Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist gives Charlotte a sure-thing NBA player, a promising perimeter defender to pair with Henderson and the kind of high-effort utility player who should make each and every one of his NBA squads better with his very presence.
He doesn't have the makings of an elite shot-creator, and he isn't exactly likely to be the Bobcats' savior. But Kidd-Gilchrist is yet another dependable asset for the Bobcats to lean on, and in the absence of a cornerstone star, that's not too shabby. It's more important for Charlotte to connect on these annual lottery choices—particularly in such a muddled draft class—than to swing for the fences; the Bobcats' rebuild may be far from over, but they can at least soundly invest in a prospect like Kidd-Gilchrist while that process continues.