Unrestricted free agents with CAA connections: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist seems to be the most likely role player that can fully leverage ties to CAA to return close to home to play for the Knicks. MKG’s closest family friend is William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley, a longtime CAA consult and confidante of Leon Rose. Just like Rose & Worldwide Wes, MKG grew up in South Jersey. Coincidentally, MKG’s cousin is Dajuan Wagner, a Camden native and one of Leon Rose’s earlier clients.
MKG originally signed with Rich Paul of CAA before the 2012 NBA Draft. Once Rich Paul left CAA in 2012, MKG stuck with the agency, particularly due to his longstanding relationship with Worldwide Wes.
Various injuries slowed down MKG during his rookie contract with the Charlotte Hornets. When he was able to play, he proved to be a pesky defender, even though his offensive prowess never caught up to NBA speed. His defensive versatility allowed him to guard primary scorers at ease. However, his offensive limitations and the ascension quickly moved MKG out of the rotation for good. The Hornets bought him out in February and MKG subsequently signed with the Dallas Mavericks.
Kidd-Gilchrist will come off a contract where he earned $52 million over four seasons. He will definitely come at a discounted value and he could be an interesting flyer as a reclamation project of sorts. The Knicks always had trouble on the defensive end, so MKG can help fill those deficiencies, even though his offensive limitations are glaring. Perhaps a return home is all he needs.