Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist revealed earlier today that he intends to return to action this season despite suffering a torn labrum in his right shoulder that appeared likely to cost him all of 2015/16. While the return of the defensive-minded swingman would certainly bolster the team heading into the playoffs, there is certainly a danger in him returning too soon from such a serious injury, Chris Barnewall of SB Nation’s AttheHive.com writes. With the franchise expecting to have ample free cap space heading into this offseason, the return of Kidd-Gilchrist could push the Hornets deeper into the postseason, which would provide the team with a stronger free agent sales pitch, Barnewall notes. But the prospect of luring a big name player to Charlotte isn’t worth risking the long-term health of Kidd-Gilchrist, who has already suffered a number of injuries during his brief NBA career, adds Barnewall.
Here’s more news from the Eastern Conference:
- Heat rookie Justise Winslow‘s versatility as a defender is allowing the team to experiment with him as a stretch four, a move that Miami has been working toward in recent weeks, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. “There’s a lot of time being spent behind the scenes,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s been doing that. For about over a month, he’s been working a lot of his reps at the four pre-practice. He doesn’t play it [a lot] in the game, but you never know when. And it’s not like it’s something new. So he’s had a thousand reps behind the scenes. He gets thrown in there, it’s like, ‘OK, I got this. This is familiar.’ “
- Thursday is the final day that teams can waive their non-guaranteed contracts before they become fully guaranteed, and the Bulls have to make decisions regarding Cameron Bairstow and Cristiano Felicio. All indications point to Felicio remaining on the roster past that deadline, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune writes. The 23-year-old has only appeared in two games for the Bulls this season and has scored two points in four total minutes of action.
- Pacers small forward Solomon Hill has cracked coach Frank Vogel‘s regular rotation, but the player still needs to work on his tendency to overthink matters on the court, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star writes. “I think one thing I have to do now that I’m, like, playing actually is just relax,” said Hill. “I feel like I’m just trying to stay in there by just doing the right things, and I’m thinking too much. I think once I relax and see the first one go in, I’ll be OK.” When asked if he can expect to receive consistent playing time moving forward, Hill responded, “I don’t know. I’m not going to think about that anymore. That’s part of me over-thinking. I’m just going to go out there and play the game, play my game when I do get the opportunity, but it’s a testament to our team. Everybody’s playing right now.”