Jan 31, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) during the game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Finding a “Young Veteran”
Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, and Tyreke Evans were all “young veterans.”
The reason that term is in quotations is that it’s a literal category of players Dell has referred to in press conferences. It basically means a player who is between their rookie contract and their first free agent extension. The idea is to find players who are proven commodities, without sacrificing the idea that they could grow and develop with the team.
One can certainly question the effectiveness of a strategy focused on attaining such players, but that doesn’t mean Dell Demps isn’t still partial to them. Young veterans are more likely to be immediate contributors than rookies, and Dell Demps is more focused on making the playoffs and keeping his job than waiting for long-term success.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could be a reasonable target if Dell need an immediate contributor. The Hornets struck gold with Nic Batum on the wing this season, so drafting someone like Bender at six might be more appealing to them than keeping both MKG and Batum around.
MKG has a terrible three-point shot, but his almost perfect everywhere else. He’s a high IQ passer, a great rebounder, and legitimately one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire league. He’s basically Jaylen Brown’s future self if he never figures out how to shoot from deep.
The Pelicans were solid on offense last year, but their defense was terrible. Adding MKG could make them an average defensive team, while providing everything but shooting on offense. He won’t be able to space the floor, but maybe Gentry and his staff could work a miracle on him these next few years.
Throw MKG in a gym all summer and make him shoot 1000 threes a day. If he ends up with even a 33% three-point shot, that trade will look like highway robbery.
It worked for Dante Cunningham right?
Next: Standing Still