It’s Time for the Charlotte Hornets to Trade Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
It might be time for the Charlotte Hornets to take a risk and cut ties with MKG as they look to get better through trade.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a hard-working player; the personification of hustle. Injuries have plagued him throughout his career, but to this point, he has always bounced back. For a while, it even looked like he was going to develop a consistent jump shot, one that wouldn’t give Mark Price nightmares.
But MKG has reached a point in his career where he isn’t improving offensively and that should be a concern to Steve Clifford and the entire Charlotte Hornets front-office. Maybe it’s time for the Hornets to consider trading their young wing.
Kidd-Gilchrist is by no means a bad basketball player. But he was drafted 2nd overall with the expectation that he would develop into a capable offensive player. He has simply not become a threat with the ball in his hands and that’s what this team needs.
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He’s heralded as a lockdown defender, yet star players seem to play nearly as well when MKG guards them. And the way that the Hornets suffer on offense makes the least out of those opportunities he provides through his defense and rebounding.
This team relies heavily on the three-ball and he has been historically awful shooting from behind the arc. That loss of spacing in this style of offense means defenders can clamp down on Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, or whoever else is looking to score without the threat of Kidd-Gilchrist burning them with his shooting. It also makes it harder to run effective pick and rolls due to a lack of space to work with. He’s still valuable, but his fit with this Charlotte team is questionable.
The best-case scenario for the Hornets is trading Michael to a young team that needs a wing or defensive specialist, such as the Denver Nuggets or Philadelphia 76ers. These teams would likely be able to offer veterans and/or draft picks. The idea of Wilson Chandler or Danilo Gallinari coming to Charlotte would be intriguing.
Or perhaps an MKG for Jameer Nelson and draft picks deal because Charlotte has serious problems with their point guard rotation sans Ramon Sessions. With Rich Cho’s success rate on trades (see: Nicolas Batum for Vonleh and Henderson), he could surely come up with a suitable trade.
Any of those scenarios offer the opportunity for the Hornets to get stronger. A playoff berth is slowly slipping away from the Queen City and a turnaround is in order. Charlotte basketball teams (Hornets and Bobcats) have never made the playoffs with a losing record.
Right now, sitting multiple games below .500, it’s time for a shakeup. We’ve seen what this team can do with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in the lineup; maybe it’s time for a change.