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Charlotte Bobcats: The Battle to Start at Small Forward Between MKG and Taylor

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist #14 smiles along with teammate Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats in the second half against the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Conner BoydCorrespondent IJuly 5, 2012

This is going to sound completely ridiculous, and maybe it is.

But will there be a competition between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffery Taylor in the offseason/preseason between who will start for the Charlotte Bobcats at the 3 spot?

I've watched all the game tape I can find and read all of the scouting reports there are to read about these two guys, and make no mistake—MKG has the most potential, and will likely become the face of this franchise and the building block around which Michael Jordan and Rich Cho put together a team.

But in both of their first seasons as professional players, should Jeff Taylor get the nod over MKG at SF to start?

As of right now, Taylor is a more gifted offensive prospect than MKG. He, also like MKG is an excellent defender, and he can be the swingman the Bobcats need. He's 23 years old (over four years older than MKG), and has more competitive basketball under his belt. He played in the same league as MKG, put up better numbers, and did it with high-level talent around him, just like MKG did.

Maybe Jeff Taylor should be starting at the three to give MKG a year more to mature and work on his game offensively.

I'm not saying Taylor takes all of his minutes away...I think MKG and Taylor are both going to see minutes in the mid-to-upper 20s regardless of who starts or not. Taylor can also play SG, so they could both play on the court together opening up an impressive dynamic between the two.

But right now, and there is no denying this—Taylor's jumpshot is much more refined than MKG's. MKG has a strange hitch and double clutch when he shoots, and they go in during practice, but the long release time won't translate well when he's got forwards in his face looking to block his shot. I believe he has the ability to hit mid-long range shots, he just needs to fix his motion and he'll be there.

But until that happens. should Taylor start? He probably won't. MKG and Taylor are both high-character guys, very similar players, great defenders, and extremely gifted athletes, but despite Taylor's more polished game, MKG was taken second overall for a reason. The Bobcats are going to start him, unless Taylor completely blows everyone away during summer league and offseason workouts.

Jeff Taylor is a great basketball player, and a uniquely great steal at 31st overall—a testament to how deep this draft was. Taylor likely would have been drafted around 20th or possibly even higher last year, and the Bobcats got a great player who will have a long career. But I doubt he's going to start over MKG.

He should still get valuable minutes (like I said, probably 20+), and he is going to contribute to this team both defensively and offensively.

And he's also going to push MKG to get better. MKG was already regarded as the hardest worker in the draft, so adding this to the mix can push him to new heights.

The Bobcats 2-deep at SF is exciting and should be one of the more productive positions on the court for this team this season, and I can't wait to see these two guys get to work.

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