NBA Draft: Kidd-Gilchrist a worthy No. 2?

Editor’s note: This is the second in a

series examining top prospects in the NBA Draft. Profiles are based on

conversations with NBA general managers and scouts.

If you’re looking for athleticism and toughness in the NBA Draft, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is your man.

If you’re looking for strong perimeter shooting, you might want to look somewhere else. Then again, Kidd-Gilchrist is so skilled in every other area, you might want to take him anyway.

That may be a decision facing the Cavaliers, particularly if they end up with the second overall pick in the draft. The odds of that are decent since they enter the lottery with the third-best chance of winning (behind Charlotte and Washington).

As currently constructed, the Cavs could really use some outside shooting. Then again, they could use a lot of things.

Kidd-Gilchrist has plenty of skills that translate well to the NBA. He gets to the basket at will. He’s a good rebounder and strong defender. He’s 6-foot-7 with broad shoulders and long wingspan. He really gets after it, playing with a great degree of energy and poise.

On top of everything else, he’s a champion — having won the national title while playing alongside Anthony Davis, the expected No. 1 overall draft pick.

Unlike Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t resemble a natural go-to guy. According to the website Draft Express, Kidd-Gilchrist finished the season seventh on his team in field-goal attempts.

On the bright side, that means he rarely forces anything, and despite all his talent, is far from a ballhog.

One scout compared Kidd-Gilchrist to New Jersey forward Gerald Wallace, another to Memphis forward Rudy Gay.

“He’d have to improve quite a bit offensively to get in Gay’s league,” admitted the scout. “But remember, Kidd-Gilchrist really is just a kid. It may be a different story for him (on offense) in three or four years, especially when it comes to his (outside) shot.”

If not?

“I’d say he’s still worth taking at No. 2,” the scout said. “He alone probably won’t carry a franchise, but he’ll be a really good player with other good players surrounding him.”

That’s the type of roster the Cavs and every team in the lottery are hoping to build. So shaky perimeter touch or not, it sounds like Kidd-Gilchrist will be more than worth a shot.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist File

Height: 6-7

Weight: 228 pounds

Position: Small forward

Date of birth: 9-26-1993 (18 years old)

Hometown: Somerdale, NJ

High School: St. Patrick

College: Kentucky

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