NBA Draft Busts Series: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

In the 2012 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the second overall pick. This was a solid draft class. There were several players from that draft class who made at least one All-Star team. However, Kidd-Gilchrist wasn’t among them. He’s one of the more recent NBA draft busts. Let’s take a look back at what has transpired in Kidd-Gilchrist’s NBA Career.

You can find the other NBA Draft Busts here.

 

NBA Draft Busts: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

High School and College Career

Kidd Gilchrist played at St. Patrick High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It was a well-known powerhouse school for basketball. In fact, he played alongside Kyrie Irving during his high school days. St. Patrick High School had an undefeated season up until the New Jersey State Championship. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds that season for St. Patrick. He was ranked as the third-best player by ESPN.com and Rivals.com coming out of high school.

In 2010, Kidd-Gilchrist committed to playing for Kentucky. He spent a year there and started 39 out of 40 games. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, one steal, and 0.9 blocks per contest. It was a very successful year for the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2011 season. They finished 38-2 and won the national championship. Kidd-Gilchrist was named to the First Team All-SEC that season. From that Kentucky team, more than half of the players went on to play in the NBA. The biggest name of them all is Anthony Davis.

NBA Career

The 6’7” forward was selected as the second overall pick by Charlotte and made the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2013. He averaged nine points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks per contest. Kidd-Gilchrist is a jack of all trades player who had a high motor. He showed some flashes that he could be a potential star during his rookie season. However, his weakness on the offensive end was glaring as well as having a broken jump shot. He’s just not the type of player who can create his own offense.

Kidd-Gilchrist’s numbers declined during his second NBA season and he missed 20 games due to injury that year. He would then have his best statistical NBA season when the Bobcats became the Charlotte Hornets. However, he missed quite a bit of time in the 2015 season due to injuries. In the 2016 season, Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a shoulder injury in a preseason game that kept him out for all but seven games.

In the following two seasons, Kidd-Gilchrist’s offensive game and jump shot did not improve. He averaged 9.2 points during both of those seasons as a starter. During the 2019 season, the Hornets moved Kidd-Gilchrist to the bench unit and his decline continued. The Hornets waived him during the 2020 season and the Dallas Mavericks signed him as an end of the bench player. Before the start of the 2021 season, Kidd-Gilchrist signed with the New York Knicks and was waived about three weeks later. He remains unsigned during this offseason.

The What-If

In retrospect, Charlotte wasn’t exactly the best destination for Kidd-Gilchrist and also the fact that he was drafted so high in the 2012 NBA Draft. His growth was stunted. He didn’t improve in his offensive game and wasn’t able to fix his broken jump shot. The work ethic was there for Kidd-Gilchrist but he just didn’t blossom into a star. Sure, there was a lot of pressure being the second overall pick but the question is whether he could’ve been a better player had he been drafted lower.

Coming into the NBA, he had great size and length as well as a high motor. Kidd-Gilchrist was a great defensive player and a great rebounder for his size with the hustle. However, he wasn’t projected to be a star in the NBA. The players today are more skilled offensively and more reliant on their three-point shooting. Kidd-Gilchrist’s three-point shooting has almost been non-existent over the past few seasons and he has played his way out of the league. Although he had some bad luck with injuries, it was hard to see him become a star regardless of what team selects him.

Looking Back on the 2012 NBA Draft

Looking back at the 2012 NBA Draft and the players taken behind him, several made an All-Star team which includes a couple of players who were taken in the second round. The Bobcats just missed out on Bradley Beal in the draft. Some other players from this list include Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, Draymond Green, and Khris Middleton. Charlotte struck out with Kidd-Gilchrist.

 

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