Only nine days after making him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Bobcats have officially inked former Kentucky star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to his first professional basketball contract.
Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
Kidd-Gilchrist, who spent one year dominating at Kentucky before opting to enter the draft, was arguably one of the most potential-laden prospects of the 2012 draft class. With overwhelming athleticism, a never-ceasing motor and an impressive ability to create points from anywhere on the floor, it was too hard for the Bobcats to pass up the talented small forward when they were on the clock at No. 2.
During his freshman campaign at Kentucky, the 6’7’’, 228-pound Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 40 games for the 2012 NCAA champions. He was selected as the South region’s Most Outstanding Player after handing the Indiana Hoosiers a 24-point shellacking in the regional semifinals.
The Bobcats, who finished last season with a wretched record of 7-59, will be looking towards Kidd-Gilchrist for immediate help. He should bring a sense of urgency to their offense and will help elevate the tempo at which they play. Especially after the departure of small forward Corey Maggette via trade, the opportunity is there for Kidd-Gilchrist to start from the get-go and usher in a new era of Bobcats basketball.
Although the Bobcats missed out on landing the draft’s top player thanks to the NBA Lottery, they can look towards a brighter future with Kidd-Gilchrist on board. Assuming he lives up to his potential, MKG will provide the Bobcats with plenty more firepower on both ends of the court for years to come.
He might not be their savior, but Kidd-Gilchrist is a kick start in the right direction for the Bobcats.