I was in studio at 92.3 FM The Fan talking Cavaliers basketball with Joe Lull last night, and a good portion of our conversation shifted to the upcoming NBA Draft. Assuming the Cavaliers don’t win the Lottery again and pick first, which maybe they might, being able to end up with Kyrie Irving’s high school teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would be a pretty huge deal. Kidd-Gilchrist is already in Northeast Ohio this week too. He’s been working out at Beachwood High School in preparation for the NBA Draft, as Anthony Lima from The Fan reported Wednesday, and I can’t help but hope that’s a sign of what’s to come for MKG and Cleveland.
I’m not sure if Kidd-Gilchrist is still here today, but I did talk to a couple people yesterday who confirmed he was working out at Beachwood High School as recently as Thursday too. The connection to Cleveland, as Lima first reported, is Cleveland native and CAA Agent Richard Paul, who helped sign Kidd-Gilchrist to Creative Arts Agency. Rich also represents the CAA interests of our boy Tristan Thompson too, while working with Leon Rose at CAA. I don’t know for sure, but I believe the connection between Kidd-Gilchrist and Cleveland, a New Jersey native who played his college basketball in Kentucky, starts and ends with Paul. That being the reason MKG is working out here, over at Coach Jason Pecjak’s gym in Beachwood. Leon Rose from CAA might have family here too or something I guess, but I don’t think he does. Besides that, maybe getting away from family and friends is a good thing to do while focusing on preparing for the Draft, and maybe Northeast Ohio also provides that opportunity for MKG. Totally speculating on that however, and I suppose why he’s here is not really important.
If he was able to end up staying, however, that would be pretty important for Cavs fans though. Joe asked me last night off the air who I think MKG compares to in the NBA, and I told him I didn’t know. I still can’t really think of a specific player that jumps out in my mind either to be honest. But what I do know, after talking through the potential and upside of a number of players on air last night, is that MKG is the most NBA-ready wing there is in the Draft right now. Other people know that too, I suppose, since he’ll probably not fall any lower than 2nd overall, but I think that’s the most encouraging thing about him to me as a player. Well that, and the fact that he’s solid at both ends of the floor, in all phases of the game, and has demonstrated his ability to be a quality teammate too. He sacrificed shots and points to help a team that ended up winning the National Title, and that’s a pretty mature thing for an 18-year old superstar capable of scoring 25 on anybody to do these days in the world of big-time basketball.
Bradley Beal’s a real good player too, Harrison Barnes is a solid option in the top six, Andre Drummond is intriguing, and even Perry Jones III gives you reason to think for a minute as well. But MKG is just nasty, he’s one step above everybody in this Draft class not named Anthony Davis, and I can’t help but hope that him being here now is some type of omen from the Cavaliers basketball gods of what’s to come moving forward. We’ll find out for sure towards the end of this month I guess, and in the meantime I just hope he’s enjoying his stay. If by chance you see him at Beachwood mall or something, be sure to make him feel welcome too.