There is a growing faction of Cavalier fans who want Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. So much so that they believe the Cavs should do whatever it takes to move up from #4 to #2 in the NBA Draft in order to assure themselves of being able to draft the Kentucky wing man. It’s an extremely interesting debate and anyone who watched Kidd-Gilchrist this past season knows he’ll be at the top of a lot of draft boards. More than likely, barring some sort or spectacular workout from another player, Kidd-Gilchrist is going to go #2 overall.
Kidd-Gilchrist is believed by many to be either the second best player in the draft behind Anthony Davis or the best player overall and should be taken #1 overall. That’s not going to happen as it is all but guaranteed that Davis is going #1 to the Hornets, but it certainly says a lot about what Kidd-Gilchrist can bring to the table. Scouts are drooling over him thanks to an excellent combination of size (6’7″, 230 lbs) and speed with a non-stop motor. Combined with a tireless work ethic, it’s hard to imagine him not being a successful pro as he continues to improve both his game and his body.
So what should the Cavs do if in fact they really want Kidd-Gilchrist?
Well for starters they can just sit back and wait. Neither of the two teams ahead of them, Charlotte and Washington, have a stellar reputation when it comes to drafting. There is a possibility that both could fall in love with some combination of 7 footer Andre Drummond, power forward Thomas Robinson, shooting guard Bradley Beal, or even fellow wing man Jeremy Lamb and pave the way for Kidd-Gilchrist to fall into our laps. Stranger things have happened. After all, it only takes one quality workout and the next thing you know a team is taking a Michael Olowokandi, Andre Bargnani, or Kwamee Brown.
See! Michael Jordan has effed up before. He can do it again. He’s the best.
The other option available to the Cavs is to get aggressive and try to trade into the #2 spot. Charlotte has a lot of hole to fill, and coincidentally, the Cavs have a lot of draft pick this year. They have the 4th, 24th, 33rd and 34th picks. Would Charlotte be willing to turn down a trade proposal in which they received the 4th, 24th, and an established player for #2? What about packaging all four of the picks in exchange for #2? Crazier still, what if the Cavs offered some combination of picks and…
I know it sounds crazy considering how much room for growth there is when it comes to Thompson, but consider what we’d be giving up and getting in return. Thompson is a raw big man with a non-stop motor on defense and on the boards, limited offensive game, and terrible foul shooting. In Kidd-Gilchrist we’d receive in return a guy with the same non-stop motor and nose for the ball as Thompson, but with a much higher offensive ceiling.
Here’s another point to take into consideration. Many questioned the drafting of Tristan Thompson last year at four. It was a bit of a reach pick and anyone who watched him play could see that. In a stronger draft class it’s likely Thompson would have gone later in the lottery or middle of the first round. On the other hand is Kidd-Gilchrist, a player many scouts are saying is worthy of being the #1 overall pick.
So I’ll ask again, would you be willing to give up on Tristan Thompson only after one so-so rookie season?
Surprisingly, despite making the argument myself, I still say no. I would hate to give up on a guy who’s still so young and raw as a basketball player. He’s going to get better and maybe even an inch or two taller before it’s all said and done. Plus, his asset is his motor and his ability to rebound and block shots. I also can’t get rid of someone who is so willing to ham it up and look like a complete jackass on camera. He’s the ultimate glue guy. That’s a reliable skill set and something every good NBA team needs (see the Thunder and Serge Ibaka). There’s a good chance Kidd-Gilchrist could wind up being a complete knucklehead with a poor jump shot. You just never know.
So in the weeks leading up to the draft it’s going to be interesting to see what position the Cavs take, aggressive or passive. As I’ve said many times before, this is an important draft that could shape and mold this team for years to come. We need a lot of pieces and the four picks we have combined with what’s already on the roster could form a very solid core. Just know that they also have an opportunity to get that elite athletic scorer to pair up with Kyrie Irving.