Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Why Bobcats Top Pick Will Never Be Franchise Player

Stephen Sheehan@@StephenPSheehanCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2012

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may never be more than a very good NBA player.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may never be more than a very good NBA player.Nick Laham/Getty Images

It's almost unfair to knock a 19-year-old before he's even suited up for an NBA game, but barring a miracle, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will never be a franchise player for the Charlotte Bobcats

Kidd-Gilchrist was an integral part of Kentucky's 2011-2012 championship squad, but that's all he was—a part. 

The 6'7" small forward has everything you want from a personal standpoint: toughness, heart, work ethic and leadership. What he lacks is a reliable jumper and ball-handling or isolation scoring skills—necessities for any great small forward, let alone a franchise one. 

That's not to say Kidd-Gilchrist can't become a solid starter. Heck, he could possibly become a borderline All-Star, but that's not what you draft with the second overall pick. 

The Bobcats probably wished they could have taken Kidd-Gilchrist's teammate Anthony Davis, yet Michael Jordan was left to make a decision between Kentucky's second-best defender or Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal.

Ultimately, Jordan probably made the wrong decision, again.

According to the numbers on DraftExpress.com, things don't look promising for Kidd-Gilchrist's offensive game. In his scouting report on Kidd-Gilchrist, Jonathan Givony—citing Ken Pomeroy—reported that MKG took just 18.6 percent of his team's shots, the smallest number of any of the team's starting five. 

Unfortunately, that small portion of shots didn't yield the best results. 


MKG shot just 25.5 percent from three-point range, and most of his points came finishing at the rim. 

Joseph Treutlein, the director of scouting/analytics for DraftExpress.com, presented some unflattering numbers on MKG in his pre-draft breakdown of the small forwards. 

According to Treutlein's analysis, MKG ranked 12th in scoring efficiency out of 18 small forwards, including a dead last .712 points per jump shot. 

Besides his lack of scoring ability, Kidd-Gilchrist ranked second-to-last in turnover rate at 17.2 percent—not a good number for a "franchise player." 

Now Kidd-Gilchrist does get recognition for terrific defense, particularly for his ability to guard pretty much any position other than center, but no one is taking Andre Iguodala with the No. 2 pick. 

The one thing that Kidd-Gilchrist has on his side is time. At just 19 years old, there's plenty of room for growth. 

However, unless he seriously changes up his shooting mechanics and refines his ball-handling skills, his upside will be limited to a defensive stopper/slasher. 

That's a valuable commodity in today's NBA, but not franchise player worthy.