Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Could Eventually Be As Good As Damian Lillard

By John Raffel
Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist fell far short of the accomplishments for the Charlotte Bobcats that his fellow rookie, Damian Lillard, had for the Portland Trail Blazers. It’s why Lillard was a runaway choice for the NBA Rookie of the Year award and why Kidd-Gilchrist didn’t even come close.

Lillard obviously has a bright pro future ahead of him, but how about Kidd-Gilchrist? It’s hard to say right now. But in Kidd-Gilchrist’s defense, it’s tougher being a rookie for the Charlotte Bobcats than the Portland Trail Blazers.

Don’t be surprised if within two or three years Kidd-Gilchrist is putting in similar numbers of what Lillard is doing. Always, much depends on the supporting cast that each player has. In terms of natural talent, most observers would say these two rookies are equal.

But that’s no guarantee. Kidd-Gilchrist needs to show more of a fire, determination and zest for the game on the professional level than he did in his rookie season. Lillard had no problem displaying that fire and determination, but he was playing for a team that was winning prior to a season-ending 13-game losing streak and his squad was in a playoff chase most of the season.

Kidd-Gilchrist’s team was basically out of the playoff chase even before the preseason started. If the Bobcats become a better team, then Kidd-Gilchrist is likely to become a much better player.

But it won’t come just from a year’s experience. Kidd-Gilchrist needs to have a solid offseason in getting ready for 2013-14, and the Bobcats’ brass needs to make some wise decisions during the offseason for the rookie to have the better team around him that he needs to succeed.

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