Back in the 2012 NBA Draft, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist became the first college teammates to be selected No. 1 and No. 2 in history.
Davis developed into sure-fire superstar, one of the most polarizing figures in the NBA.
Kidd-Gilchrist, on the other hand, became yet another question mark in the widely-criticized draft history of Charlotte owner and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.
It’s not that he became a “bust,” rather he has yet to take the next step up from role-player status to stardom. Kidd-Gilchrist’s shooting ability has yet to develop, and his other methods of scoring have just not made up for his perimeter deficiencies.
In fact, some fans questioned whether or not the former Kentucky star would even start for the Hornets this season, let alone lead the team to greater heights.
According to Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford, the organization is still behind their former No. 2 overall selection.
“MKG — everybody wants to know — he’ll start and I think he’ll have a great year,” Clifford said.
Cilfford acknowledged Kidd-Gilchrist’s shooting issues, but said his competitive nature and character are crucial assets to the team.
“Spacing is the basic tenant of offensive basketball,” Clifford said, acknowledging Kidd-Gilchrist’s limited shooting range. “But it’s not as important as competitiveness, it’s not as important as character, and it’s not as important as natural talent.
In fact, Clifford believes the former Wildcat can be a top ten defender in the NBA this season.
“He is a natural athlete. He has a feel for the game, he’s a tough guy who cares about the team, and I think he can be one of the top 10 defenders in the league this year.”
It’s great to see the franchise so confident in Kidd-Gilchrist, but it’d be wrong to ignore the glaring issues in his game that need work. We saw that potential at Kentucky, and it’s time for MKG to live up to that in the league.
Read the entire article by the Charlotte Observer here.