Kemba Walker might be the answer, but I doubt it. He was sensational at UConn and won a NCAA title, but he was extremely under-whelming as a rookie last year. After all, he’s an under-sized combo guard with “barely there” point guard skills.
If you ask me, he’s not the guy that is going to get Charlotte back to the playoffs. He might play a helping hand, but right now, he’s not the player he needs to be to be “the answer”. When Ramon Sessions is more balanced, you know you’ve still got some work to do.
Gerald Henderson isn’t the guy, either. He’s a fine offensive player with a sweet stroke, but can he carry the Bobcats? I’m pretty sure we all know the answer to that. B.J. Mullens is a solid big man with a lot of potential. But it’s not like he’s the next Kevin Love or Tim Duncan. He doesn’t rebound as well as he should, and his defense leaves something to be desired. And even when you have your defensive gem in Bismack Biyombo, you’re lacking offensive polish.
So, really, it is going to come down to the freshest face in Charlotte: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Can he be the guy to get them to the next level?
Brace yourselves: probably not.
MKG is a fine young talent. He wasn’t taken as the #2 overall pick for nothing. He has impressive size and length, elite athleticism, and can literally do everything you ask of him at a solid level.
Unfortunately, he’s not Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. He’s not elite at creating his own shot. His perimeter game needs major work. He’s still rough around the edges offensively. But what do you expect from an 18 year old small forward?
No, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is not the league’s next superstar. That’s not to say he can’t be, though. He’s still so young and has limitless potential if he puts in the work.
No, he’s not Charlotte’s savior. He’s not going to be that one guy that rises above the rest, leads the league in scoring, and hits or takes every clutch shot. But I also don’t think he has to be.
The days of one guy carrying a team on his back are arguably long gone. Those days of showdowns between Allen Iverson and Vince Carter or Kobe vs. Shaq’s latest team are no more. Not only because one player can’t win by themselves anymore, but because the league itself is changing.
So, too, are the Charlotte Bobcats. In the middle they have two promising big men. One is an elite defender, and the other has a smooth jumper. At guard they have a sound shooter, and leading the way (for now) is a clutch performer with developing skills.
No, Kidd-Gilchrist isn’t the savior. He won’t do it all on his own. But he’s got the intangibles that you can’t teach. He’s fresh off of a national championship. He has size and athleticism for days. And he has youth on his side.
He’s not the game-changer just yet, but he very well could be the missing piece to the puzzle. A puzzle that formulates an actual team for these Charlotte Bobcats for the first time in a while.