Leading up to the NBA Draft Lottery on May 30th, we will be profiling each of the top-10 players available in the Draft from 10 to 1. We’ll be discussing each player’s game, and how they could theoretically fit or not fit with the Cavaliers. For Tyler Zeller click here, Perry Jones III here, John Henson here, Harrison Barnes here, Jared Sullinger here, Andre Drummond here,Thomas Robison here and for Bradley Beal click here.
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No. 2 – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Freshman, Kentucky 2011-12 stats: 11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 49% shooting
Cleveland already has MGK (rapper Machine Gun Kelly), so why not add an MKG? Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was Kentucky’s Mr. Everything for them on their way to the National Title. While his numbers won’t jump off the page they didn’t need too if you watched him play this season. Everyone that did already knows what kind of player he is, and that’s why he’ll most likely go no lower than 2nd overall in this year’s NBA Draft.
As good as some players may fit in the Cavaliers rotation, Kidd-Gilchrist is exactly the type of player the Cavs need. At 6-7, he has the prototypical size to play the 3. He also has a toughness to his game that the Cavs are currently lacking. His athleticism is off the charts, and he did a lot of his damage on the break; somewhere he could really help in Cleveland. Last season, Kyrie Irving was sometimes a one-man fast break. Imagine having Kidd-Gilchrist running opposite Irving.
Alonzo Gee was solid this year, but MKG would be a dream pairing with the Cavs young nucleus of Irving and Tristan Thompson. In watching Kentucky this season, I am not sure Kidd-Gilchrist ever missed when he attacked the rim. He attacks with such reckless abandon, in a way, it reminds me of someone playing in Miami. He has a motor that never stopped when he played, mainly because Kentucky was either on a fast break, or on the verge of starting one.
Aside from his elite athleticism, Kidd-Gilchrist is a top-notch defender. More often than not, he would guard the opposition’s best player and do a fine job of it. He is a great rebounder, especially for his position. Kidd-Gilchrist is a terrific talent, and another plus is that, at eighteen, he’s the youngest player in the draft. If the Cavs end up at two, Kidd-Gilchrist should be their man.
Depending on who picks at 2 though, he could have the chance to slip past the second spot, possibly going as low as 3. If the Cavaliers are at either of those spots, they could reunite him with former high school teammate Irving and add another young player to move forward with. If Irving and Tristan Thompson continue to progress, adding Kidd-Gilchrist would give Cleveland a formidable trio for years to come.
We here at Stepien Rules hope that’s exactly what happens.