People around the league applaud what the Hornets are getting out of the extension deal Charlotte has reportedly struck with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe hears (All six Twitter links right here). The starting salary should be roughly in line with his cap hold for next summer, which would have been $12,662,808, so the Hornets aren’t truly compromising their cap flexibility, Lowe points out. The deal is not without its potential pitfalls, given his lack of outside shooting and elite ball-handling, so it will challenge the Hornets to surround him with others who can fill in the gaps, but it’s nonetheless a risk worth taking, given the work ethic of the former No. 2 overall pick. He’s capable of moving to power forward, giving him more versatility than Tony Allen, a player to whom Kidd-Gilchrist is often compared, Lowe adds. See more from around the Southeast Division:
- The Hawks arguably took a step back this summer, having lost DeMarre Carroll to the Raptors, but Al Horford, set for free agency next summer, is pleased with the team’s offseason, especially the trade acquisition of Tiago Splitter, as Horford tells Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “And also guys like Tim Hardaway. I feel like he has a lot of potential,” Horford said. “Once he figures everything out, I think he is going to be really good for us. It’s excited to have those guys. And even some of the younger guys. Justin Holiday and Edy Tavares, I’m excited to have both of them too. We know they will have to work but I’m sure they’ll have an opportunity to play at some point. I’m excited. Obviously with DeMarre being gone, we are going to need some other guys to step in and try to help alleviate everything that DeMarre did for us.”
- The Heat clearly like No. 10 overall pick Justise Winslow, but he probably won’t perform well enough as a rookie to make Luol Deng expendable between now and the trade deadline, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel argues in a mailbag column.
- We rounded up plenty more on the Heat right here.