Tom Ziller of SB Nation wrote a great piece detailing the reasons why Anthony Davis should not be considered a “shoo-in” for rookie of the year. Does Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have a shot? This is what Ziller says:
“No. 2 pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will get tons of minutes and looks, and despite what one Summer League game showed us, doesn’t drive most of his value from scoring. He could surprise us, but note that he was No. 4 in scoring at Kentucky behind Davis, Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones. The big boost for Gilly could be Charlotte’s dearth of options: were I Mike Dunlap, MKG might have a green light from Day 1.”
He doesn’t considered Kidd-Gilchrist a real challenger, though. His candidates to beat out Davis are Dion Waiters, Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard, (mostly) because they have the chance to score a lot of points, and most rookies of the year have apparently led rookies (or been close to it) in scoring. Ziller also mentions that every rookie who scored 20 points per game won rookie of the year (Except Carmelo Anthony who had the misfortune of coming into the league with LeBron James who also scored 20ppg).
Lillard probably has the best chance to score 2o a game, but other than him, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist might be the only sure-fire No. 1 on his team. Yes, Kemba Walker will get his shots, but Mike Dunlap’s offense is being tailored to the skills of Walker and Kidd-Gilchrist.
There will be a ton of transition, the part of the game where MKG thrives most. He could score eight to 10 points a game just off transition layups and dunks. After that, who’s to say he can’t hit three or four or five shots a game in the flow of Charlotte’s offense.
He’s also a great rebounder and defender.
If Kidd-Gilchrist can average somewhere around 17 points (tough for a rookie, but we’re just having fun here), seven rebounds and two steals a game, he has a very good shot at beating out Davis (probably looking at 15 points eight to 10 rebounds, one or two blocks) and Lillard (18 to 20 points a game maybe four or five assists).