NBA Position: Small Forward
Behind his Kentucky teammate Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is undoubtedly the second best talent in the 2012 NBA Draft. He is also by far the youngest player in the draft, at just 18 years of age. Perhaps his most striking characteristics are his work ethic and his hatred of losing. ”I hate losing. I might cry some nights,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. Just his work ethic and perseverance alone will get him far in the NBA – not to mention his talents. Look for Kidd-Gilchrist to be drafted in the top-five, and have a long and productive career.
Minus perimeter shooting, he is effective in every single aspect of the game. Athletic, with the ability to create scoring opportunities. Excellent in transition, he is fearless on the fastbreak. Has great speed bursts, and slashes to the basket (a la Russell Westbrook). Terrific body control near the rim, able to withstand contact and still make the shot. Is very versatile on defense, has the ability to guard anyone from a point-guard to power-forward. Will be a solid NBA defender, his 7’0″ wingspan allows him to challenge and block shots. Above-average rebounder for his position (9.5 rebounds per 40 minutes). Terrific basketball IQ, will fit into any NBA offense. Produces every intangible of a winner. Competitive, aggressive, and shows the leadership and potential that will get him to the next level.
Needs to improve perimeter shooting (25% from 3-point range), which is his only hiccup. Has a very unorthodox jumpshot – he is right handed, but release the ball on the left side of his body. Needs more arch on his shots, very flat trajectory. Will not be the “go-to guy” on offense, is better off on a team with talent already in place so he does not need to carry the majority of the scoring load. Not destined to be a “superstar”, but will be a solid contributor.
NBA Player Comparison: Andre Iguodala
Draft Projection: Top 5