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Hornets Sign Michael Kidd-Gilchrist To Extension

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Chicago Bulls

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

TUESDAY, 12:40pm: The deal is official, the Hornets announced.

“Michael is a huge part of what we are trying to build here in Charlotte,” GM Rich Cho said in the team’s statement. “He has dedicated himself to improving and expanding his game. Michael continues to develop on both ends of the court and has become a key piece of our team. We are thrilled that he is a Charlotte Hornet.” 

MONDAY, 8:09pm: The Hornets are close to signing forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to a four-year, $52MM contract extension, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The agreement will be finalized this week with a news conference to follow, sources told Wojnarowski. Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer confirms the deal and adds that the Leon Rose client will take a physical on Tuesday (Twitter link).

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft will make $6,331,404 this season before the extension kicks in.

Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 10.9 points and 7.6 rebounds for Charlotte last season, his third in the league. He only appeared in 55 games before an ankle injury cut his season short.

The 21-year-old small forward has a reputation for being a stout one-on-one defender, and his player efficiency rating of 15.14 last season reflects that despite his relatively modest offensive contributions and the fact he’s averaged less than one block and one steal in each of his seasons. Hornets coach Steve Clifford proclaimed in March that Kidd-Gilchrist has the talent to become the best perimeter defender in this generation of NBA players.

He’s shot 46.4% from the field in his short career, though he’s not a threat from the 3-point line. He’s made only three shots from long range and didn’t even attempt one last season.

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8 thoughts on “Hornets Sign Michael Kidd-Gilchrist To Extension

  1. Chris Crouse

    Nice deal for the Hornets, Aminu just got 30MM and he’s a poor mans version of MKG. $52 isn’t bad at all.

  2. smittybanton

    Tangent: As well as Nerlens Noel protects the rim from the five position, his potential stardom as a defender rests with his versatility. His steals are equally impressive. Guards are wary of him. IF Embiid returns next year and is as good as advertised, Nerlens will have to play the small forward with Joel at the four and Okafor at the five. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist getting $52M is proof that it can work. As good a defender MKG is, Noel is better, even on the wing. Which would you rather have on Kevin Durant or Lebron James? On offense, Okafor is in the post, Embiid can play the four like Ibaka because he can shoot out to the three point line, and small forwards won’t be able to handle Noel above the rim as the diver in pick and rolls. Even if all three are “natural” centers, they can play together. If in three years Noel can hitting a standing, corner three, they’ll be devastating together.

    • Dana Gauruder

      As athletic as Noel is, I would be surprised if the Sixers would considering using him at the three spot. It would be difficult for him to keep up with the quickness of the smaller guys, though it would be interesting to see if a jumbo frontcourt could work in an NBA where downsizing is the trend.

  3. Ryan Bru

    curious if it even money every year or i would actually like it to start really high and decrease. We have no shot at actually winning next year it all next year, front load the deal.

    • Dana Gauruder

      Details haven’t been released, though that would be an unusual way of doing a contract these days. Most likely, he’ll get steady increases through the life of the contract.

  4. Chuck Myron

    I think this one will be on the cheaper end of rookie scale extensions when all is said and done with the salary escalation around the league. I still cringe when I think about that much money for a wing player who can’t shoot threes, but other players with obvious flaws in their games are getting even more than MKG is here.

  5. brad

    Excellent deal considering the cap jump next year. The best thing about it is it does nothing to Hornet’s cap space next year and you lock up part of the core. Nice job Cho!

    • Dana Gauruder

      Considering how much the Hornets value his defensive prowess, it will probably turn out to be a bargain in hindsight.

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