I’ve already profiled Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as an NBA player. I’ve come to a fluid conclusion; that he’s not going to be the savior for the Charlotte Bobcats, but that he will eventually be a huge part of a turnaround. It may take some time, but I firmly believe that it will happen.
But that doesn’t mean that he can’t make a sizable impact in the fantasy realm in there here and now.
MKG is slated to start as a rookie, and he should be fed minutes like crazy barring awful defense and/or foul trouble. If he can keep his hands clean for the most part, I’m expecting around 30 minutes per game, with a chance at 10+ shot attempts.
It’s important to note that this isn’t his team yet, though, and that minutes may not translate right away into a smooth jumper, consistent outside range, or elite overall numbers. Just ask Evan Turner. Or maybe ask MKG’s new teammate in Charlotte, Kemba Walker.
Walker was handed over minutes right away as a rookie, and while he did put up decent numbers overall, he struggled mightily shooting from the floor. The Bobcats don’t want to put too much pressure on the 19-year Kidd-Gilchrist, so you have to think they’ll let Walker continue his growth as a go-to scorer, with Gerald Henderson, Ben Gordon and B.J. Mullens helping out quite a bit, as well.
You know Walker is going to demand the ball, regardless of whether or not he’s running the point. In fact, it’s his nature as more of a combo guard that could negatively affect Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s fantasy value from a scoring perspective. Dittor for Ben Gordon. Even though he’ll almost certainly be coming off the bench, Gordon’s propensity to launch shots first and pass the ball later could play a big hand in curbing MKG’s shot attempts.
Inevitably, the two could potentially join forces as a dangerous combo guard scoring duo that helps Charlotte’s offense improve, but ultimately lowers MKG’s rookie ceiling.
That may very well mean a slow start for MKG as a fantasy option from a scoring stand-point. However, if he gets the minutes I think he will (or at least should), he’ll help out in enough areas to be a fairly solid fantasy contributor on a regular basis.
So far in preseason action, in the two games he logged at least 25 minutes, he recorded 10 points or more in both, while racking up 9 rebounds, 5 assists, three steals and a block.
He has the size, athleticism and potential to be a big-time asset in more ways than one right away, for both the Bobcats and your fantasy basketball team. Cheer him on in hopes he develops quickly, and grab him in the late round of your draft.