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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 10/5/15

It’s unusual for a prominent player to suffer a season-ending injury during the first week of training camp. That’s why the news on Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is so stunning and unexpected. Gilchrist has a torn labrum in his right shoulder and Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski calls it a season-ending injury. The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports that a non-surgical alternative exists that would allow him to miss only six to eight weeks, though that would increase the possibility of tearing the labrum again.

Assuming that Kidd-Gilchrist will miss most, if not all, of the season, the Hornets suddenly have a major hole to fill. They are fortunate to have another quality small forward on the roster, as they traded for Nicolas Batum during the offseason. But the Hornets were planning to pair them together, giving them a dynamic defensive duo on the perimeter.

Jeremy Lamb is the leading candidate to start at shooting guard and Marvin Williams could wind up playing more at small forward than anticipated. P.J. Hairston and Troy Daniels could also see their minutes increase at the wing spots.

The other alternatives would be to make a trade or sign a free agent. The Hornets still have their mid-level exception to offer, though the market is pretty thin at this point.

Whichever road they choose, it will be nearly impossible to adequately replace Kidd-Gilchrist. He sets the tone for the Hornets’ defense with his ability to guard four positions. It’s no secret that the Hornets’ late-season slide during the spring coincided with Kidd-Gilchrist missing the last 11 games due to an ankle injury.

Thus, our question of the day is this: Can the Hornets still make the playoffs if Michael Kidd-Gilchrist misses the season?

Take to the comments below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.

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11 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 10/5/15

  1. Jacob Jackson

    Sure. Lamb, Hairston and Daniels have never gotten opportunities to get major minutes and play through mistakes. This will give them that chance. I’ll bet one of those three guys steps forward in a major way.

    I think the community rankings we did undersold the Hornets a little and gave a bit too much credit to the Pacers. Paul George’s passive-aggressive complaining about his role is a far bigger chemistry issue than anything the Hornets are dealing with.

    MKG being out does two positive things: cleaner post ups for Big Al, and more room for Kemba to operate. Spacing will inevitably be better.

    • Dana Gauruder

      Kidd-Gilchrist’s strength was never at the offensive end. The Hornets rely on him as their defensive leader — that’s where he’ll be missed. He has the ability to guard such a variety of players.

  2. Jacob Jackson

    Unrelated, but this injury is also a reminder that health is part of a player’s attributes, like having a great 3-pt shot or vertical leap. Some guys just get hurt a lot, even when well-conditioned and in their late teens/early 20s. MKG and Joel Embiid are two examples.

    Harrison Barnes has only missed 5 games in his three professional seasons. That has value.

    His next contract will be significantly bigger than MKG’s $52M ext.

  3. They were a 33 win team last year, and the only eastern playoff team from last year that isn’t a lock to make the playoffs is the Nets and maybe the Celtics. Also, the Heat will be making the playoffs and the Pacers should be an interesting team to watch and should be fighting for that 7-8th playoff spot along with Boston. So with MKG out, I don’t see the Hornets making the playoffs.

    • Dana Gauruder

      There seem to be quite a few teams that, at least on paper, are improved in the East. Will be tough for Hornets to survive without MKG.

      • Dean Gant

        The Hornets were far from a lock with him in the lineup, and considerably less with him out.

        • Dana Gauruder

          They will need a big year from Batum and a breakout season from Lamb to have any chance.

  4. nick

    I didn’t think CHA would make it into the playoffs with MKG

    • Chris Crouse

      I agree. I didn’t have them in the playoffs before the injury. Now they are a candidate for a bottom three team in the East.

  5. zack

    Best move is for them to tank – they are not getting into the play-offs with or without him

    • Dana Gauruder

      I don’t see the Hornets giving up on the season that quickly, though tanking doesn’t get you the No. 1 or 2 pick in a lot of cases. The Sixers found that out last season.

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