Should the New York Knicks pursue Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in free agency?
According to sources close to the team, the New York Knicks are interested in bolstering their perimeter defense, and are looking at former number 2 overall draft selection Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in order to achieve that.
As is well documented, Kidd-Gilchrist brings little to no effectiveness on the offensive end, except for the occasional back-cut here and there, but he does fit the profile of what new had coach Tom Thibodeau is looking for out of his players.
At 6-foot-6, 232 pounds, he’s rangy and strong enough to make players work to get clean looks at the basket. Kidd-Gilchrist was also intermittently used as a small ball center in prior NBA stops, which can provide a sense of his ability to rim protect at times, as well.
The former Kentucky product (of which the Knicks already have two in Kevin Knox and Julius Randle) has bounced around the NBA since Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets basketball czar Michael Jordan selected him over the likes of Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond. MKG stuck around in Charlotte for seven full seasons, before being agreeing to a buyout with the team last February.
He was picked by up by the Dallas Mavericks shortly after the Hornets released him, appearing in 13 games. Kidd-Gilchrist also got some run in the bubble during their playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, which the Mavericks unexpectedly pushed to 6 games against the heavy favorites.
Having had a solid career so far, but not achieving anything near the expectations placed on him related to his draft capital, Kidd-Gilchrist should be motivated to take the next step to be recognized as one of the premier defenders in the NBA, whether that ends up being with the Knicks or somewhere else.
If he’s amenable to agreeing to reasonable terms and bring the lunch pail mentality New York is hoping to play with in 2020-2021, then the Big Apple might be the right place at the right time for him and for the team.