Perhaps nobody has suffered as much this season than forward, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. After a stressful start to his career, it seemed that heading into the season with a new coaching staff that there was a glimmer of hope that MKG could finally find his role in today’s NBA. It turned out this light would fade quickly as Kidd-Gilchrist would find himself receiving more “DNP – Coach’s Decision” by the end of the season than he would of anticipated.
MKG started the season strong, finding a role with the second unit, in which he thrived at defending the rim, setting screens, and rim running. Once the holiday season started his season turned into a roller coaster and was up and down up until the finish line. MKG battled through injuries and missed games due to personal reasons. Ultimately James Borrego, would end up replacing Kidd-Gilchrist with Frank Kaminsky in the second unit in March and he never looked back as Kaminsky would shine coming off of the bench.
While the Hornets were in the heat of a playoff push, Kidd-Gilchrist would finish the final 20 games receiving a DNP in 11 of them. In quite possibly the most important game of the season –the final game of the season– against the Orlando Magic, a healthy Kidd-Gilchrist only featured for 1:29 of garbage time. Don’t think the former 2nd overall pick would be happy with that, but that’s what his career has come to.
From a statistical standpoint, this was the worse season of MKG’s career. Which hasn’t been that great anyways. He averaged 6.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1 assists on the season. His career averages stand at 8.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. To find a positive he did improve on his 3 point percentage which I think no one thought was possible. Kidd-Gilchrist jumped from a career 27.7% 3 point shooter to 34% on the season. Showing that he has at least been working on his most faulted aspect in his game. Either way, in what was supposed to be a new beginning for Kidd-Gilchrist the season ended up being completely the opposite.
It’s unsure what the future holds for MKG in Charlotte. If this season forecast anything it isn’t looking too bright for the six year pro. He has a player option that he can exercise this offseason to return to Charlotte for $13 million, but during his exit interview he had an interesting quote regarding his future, saying.
“Happiness tops money.”
It’s clear Kidd-Gilchrist wasn’t pleased with his season and is considering moving on from Charlotte to try and get playing time elsewhere. The problem with that is I’m unsure how much value he has and he certainly won’t get anywhere near the money that he can get by exercising his player option.
All in all, is seems likely the Hornets are ready to move on fro MKG, but unfortunately that decision isn’t up to them. If he is to return to Charlotte, the staff has to find a way to utilize his unique athletic ability otherwise he’ll find himself with more DNPs than he did this season.
Final Grade: D-