There are some rumors circulating that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s draft stock has been dropping over the last couple weeks. Originally lauded as a top 3 pick, MKG’s current projections have him moving outside the top 5 spots. If you’re a Kentucky fan feeling scorned by all the doubts, then take a few minutes to feel the Kidd-Gilchrist love all over again.
Specifically, take a look at Jay Bilas’ recent comments on an ESPN NBA Draft primer. There won’t be any surprises for Kentucky fans, but it’s always nice to hear an honest compliment.
Gilchrist, they don’t make them like him very often. He’s got a relentless attitude and work ethic that you just don’t see that often. He’s great in transition. Gets to the rim, gets to the free‑throw line. He’s an elite defender because he can guard multiple spots. You can put him on a point guard or put him on a 4‑man. He just isn’t a scorer.
He’s going to get his points off of energy, and he can make a shot, but he’s not a terrific shooter. But he’s only 19 years old [he's actually only 18, Jay] so he’s got some growing to do. He’s got to fix that shot. His shot mechanics are not very good. If it’s not fixed, he has to be able to shoot it the same way over and over again, and with the way he’s never square to the basket, his arm flies, his right arm flies out on his elbow, he needs to fix that. He has plenty of time to work on it. He’s capable of doing it.
He can guard anybody, 6’7″ with really long arms and tremendous athleticism. You can put him on a point guard out front, or you can put him on a big three or a small four‑man. He can really impact the game defensively. He’s really energetic. I guess that’s what you’d call him is an energy player that he thrives off of the energy that he brings into a game.
He’s excellent in transition, a good rebounder, gets shots, gets loose balls. He’s going to make you better. The one thing he doesn’t do is he’s not a prolific scorer. He averaged 14 a game last year. He can make an open shot. I wouldn’t classify him as a good shooter, but it’s not like you have to repaint the rims after a game he plays in. He makes free throws and all of that.
I don’t know any coach in the NBA that would say ‘I don’t want him on my team’. Anybody would covet Michael Gilchrist because he’s all about winning. He’s a great kid, and he’s relentless. I mean he is absolutely relentless. That is not something that you can teach. You don’t just say to your guys, you don’t say in the huddle, let’s all go out and be relentless. It doesn’t work that way.
That’s pretty high praise from one of college basketball’s most observant and knowledgeable experts, and anyone who skips Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the NBA Draft will probably come to regret their decision in the very near future. The kid deserves a lot of love.
Filed Under: Basketball
About the Author: Corey Tincher is a lifelong Kentucky fan and professional writer who couldn't keep the two worlds apart. He is the lead contributor for StraitCats.com and literally wrote the book on the 2012 NCAA Tournament Championship run, Big Blue Articles: Kentucky Basketball in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Follow @Corey_Tincher on Twitter for more Kentucky news and discussion.