I am back with my “Player Comparisons”. After taking a few weeks off, I thought it would be smart for me to start doing this because I know a lot of people are looking forward to the June draft. Today I am focusing on Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Take a look at his profile!
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a projected top 3 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
He spent one season at the University of Kentucky where he averaged 11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg (2.6 offensive rebounds per-game), 1.9 apg, 1 stlpg, 0.9 blkpg, and 2.2 tpg.
He played an average of 31.1 mpg and had a career high of 24 points (twice, once against Louisville and Indiana), 19 rebounds (against Louisville), six assists (against Chattanooga), three steals (three times), three blocks (three times), and six turnovers (against Little Rock-Arkansas).
Offense: It seems that Kidd-Gilchrist is still a work-in-progress when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. He posted a solid 49.1% from the field, but shot 25.5% from three and 74.5% from the free-throw line. He attempted 8.2 field-goals per game, connecting on 4 per game. He attempted 4.8 free-throws per game. He went 27 games this season not making a three-pointer in games that he attempted at least one three-pointer. In four of those games he attempted at least two or more three-pointers without making one. According to draftexpress.com, Kidd-Gilchrist posted a Player Efficiency Rating of 21.1 and an Efficiency Rating of 15.6.
Offensive-Rebounding: Kidd-Gilchrist is a very good offensive rebounder. He averaged 2.6 o-boards per game this past season. He has a nose for the ball. He does a good job of boxing his man out and then going and getting the ball. At the next level, I think he could be a B-B+ type of offensive rebounder.
Running the Floor: He isn’t the fleetest-of-foot, but every once in a while he can beat the opposing team down the floor. He takes long strides and usually keeps pretty good balance when in the open floor.
Athleticism: Kidd-Gilchrist possesses B-level athleticism. While he isn’t going to finish off an alley-oop with a wind-mill, he isn’t going to look like Metta World Peace either. He does have some explosiveness. He can block shots and occasionally will dunk on somebody. But most of his points will come below the rim.
Defense: Kidd-Gilchrist was a very good defender in college and I think he will make a very good defender in the NBA. He is excellent on the ball and on the weak side. He is always there to help out teammates when needed, too. He reminds me a bit of Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest. World Peace was one of the best defenders in the league until a few years ago. Artest was physical, border-line dirty, and played hard. Kidd-Gilchrist plays the same way. He might struggle defensively in the beginning, but after a few years, I think he will become one of the premier defenders in the league. If you don’t believe me, look at what Iman Shumpert has done.
Ball-Handling: Kidd-Gilchrist is a shaky ball-handler. He is out of control more times than not. He is going to want to go through you more times than wanting to get by you. He doesn’t possess a ton of quickness when getting to the basket. Not a quick first step. Once in a while, he will throw in a spin-move to avoid a defender, and then he will gather himself and shoot a little 8-10ft bank-shot/floater. He needs to work on finishing on the fast-break. Several times during a game against Tennessee, Kidd-Gilchrist was out-of-control, dribbling into two or three defenders, and taking bad shots as a result of that. He finished the game 4-11 from the field, 17 points and 12 rebounds. He was 8-12 from the free-throw line.
Shooting: Don’t let his 49.1% from the field fool you, Kidd-Gilchrist is not a great shooter and he won’t be getting so many easy baskets at the next level. If you take out his free-throw makes per game, Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 1.01 points per shot last season. That’s not great. As a rookie, I don’t expect him to get to the line much because normally rookies don’t get calls like veterans do. He shot 25.5% from the three-point line, so I don’t expect him to be taking too many NBA three-pointers. The nice thing is that there will be an offseason this summer, so he will be working on that jumper.
Basketball I.Q.: Kidd-Gilchrist knows how to play the game, there is no question about that, but what is he going to do against the big boys? It was easy to make the simple play while at Kentucky (throwing alley-oops to Anthony Davis isn’t that difficult). But what is he going to do in a tough spot in an NBA game? He will be playing for a bad team, so I am sure he will be out there during crunch-time.
- NBA Draft 2012: Projecting Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s Skills as a Pro (bleacherreport.com)
- NBA Draft 2012: Why Cavs Should Avoid Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (bleacherreport.com)