The Charlotte Bobcats selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the second overall pick in last year’s draft. After winning a National Championship at Kentucky, Kidd-Gilchrist looked to bring his defensive intensity to the Queen City.
Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and shot 45.8% from the field in 78 games this season. He made 77 starts and averaged 26 minutes. Here’s what Roberto Gato writers had to say about MKG’s rookie campaign:
Bryan’s Grade: C+
Kidd-Gilchrist had the rookie season I thought he would have. He was a good defender right out of the gate, a solid rebounder, and pretty good in transition. He was also an awful shooter, and his half court offense suffered as a result.
The thing is, if it wasn’t for Mike Dunlap’s mental lapses this year, MKG could’ve had an even better rookie season. Dunlap forgot about Kidd-Gilchrist in too many fourth quarters, and his minutes, obviously, suffered. With a new coach in place next season, MKG should put up better numbers. I’ll give MKG a C+, because, like I said, he had the season I thought he would have. Nothing better, nothing worse.
Edward’s Grade: C+
Kidd-Gilchrist was everything he was billed to be this season. His size, athleticism, lateral quickness and length matches up defensively with at least three positions on the floor. Kidd-Gilchrist at this defensive peak could be a real stat stuffer. He’s an above-average rebounder, does a good job of contesting shots and forcing turnovers. He has a good motor and plays well in the open floor. It’s frightening to think about what he could do under a good defensive-minded head coach. He has all the tools to be one of the best defenders in basketball.
Statistically, Kidd-Gilchrist was expectedly underwhelming. He has raw offensive tools, an unreliable jumpshot and isn’t much of a shot-creator or playmaker. Despite the hitch in his jumpshot, he made 74% of his free throws on the season. Kidd-Gilchrist’s jumper will be the key to unlocking his offensive game. There’s no expectation that he’ll ever become Reggie Miller, but he needs enough of a jumper to keep the defense honest.
Kidd-Gilchrist will turn 20 before the 2013-14 season. He has a long career ahead of him as a solid rotation player. While he didn’t do much, if anything to be a candidate for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, he’s shown signs that he can bring the defensive energy and intangibles the Bobcats need going forward.