The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New Jersey. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.
Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.
Player Name: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Height/Weight: 6’7” / 235 lbs.
NBA Position: Small Forward
Projected Draft Range: High Lottery
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist plays with a passion that can’t be taught (AP Photo)
Overview: Much like fellow top five prospect Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s NBA intrigues stems from his elite athletic tools and nonstop motor. The heart and soul of Kentucky’s National Championship run, Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t turn 19 years old for another three months, yet displays the maturity and basketball IQ of someone far more advanced in his playing career. ‘MKG’ never quits on a play, locks down defenders for a full 35 seconds, and legitimately thinks he can get every rebound or loose ball during the course of a game. At nearly 6’8″ and an explosive 235 pounds, Kidd-Gilchrist can defend guards on the perimeter and big men in the post with equal success. He constantly attacks, persistent at getting to the rim on the offensive end. He led the NCAA by converting 71% of his field goals in transition situations, nearly unstoppable in the open floor. Despite all of his off-the-charts intangibles and hustle plays, Kidd-Gilchrist doesn’t possess the game of a typical franchise player. He averaged just 11.9 PPG in his one-year career at Kentucky and lacks ideal perimeter skills. Though he’ll take and make some outside shots, his jumper has ugly mechanics and he isn’t great at getting his own shot. He’s much more of a weapon off the ball cutting into open spaces to attack the basket. He also averaged more turnovers (2.2) than assists (1.9) and is not very adept as a playmaker for others. That said, MKG finds ways to contribute in the half court, mainly by getting to the foul line at an elite rate and knocking down 75% of his freebies. Not surprisingly, he measured out quite well at the Combine with a 7’0″ wingspan and third-fastest sprint time. Should Kidd-Gilchrist ever fix his outside shot and develop more go-to offensive moves, he’ll have a chance to be a special NBA player given his prototypical athleticism and unique unselfish attitude that leads to doing any and every thing he can to get his team a win.
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