Chad Ford likes Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (a lot)

Now that the NBA Draft lottery is complete we’re full steam ahead into draft talk. The Cavaliers might have a chance at Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and if they do, you can expect them to get a very good draft grade from Chad Ford if and when he issues that fateful letter. This is all in spite of the fact that Kidd-Gilchrist’s resume doesn’t appear to pop as much as you might think it should considering how highly touted he is out of Kentucky (Insider).

Winner. Leadership. Motor. Toughness. Intensity.1 They all pop when you see him on the court. He also is a terrific defender who can guard multiple positions. And while he struggled as a jump-shooter, he was a very effective scorer in transition and cutting to the basket. Scouts who love him also point out that he’s the youngest player in the draft. Oh, and a few old-timers say that MKG’s best pro comparison may be another versatile forward named Scottie Pippen.

Obviously everyone wants to get the next Michael Jordan in the draft, but as we all know you can do far far worse than finding another Scottie Pippen. Of course much like all our talk about Robert Griffin III, all this talk about Kidd-Gilchrist could be totally wasted if the Cavaliers can’t find a way to trade up. Most everyone I’ve seen has MKG off the boards by the time the Cavs are on the clock at number 4.

[Related: Chad Ford: Cavs Would Love To Trade Up To 2, Considering Lamb at #4]

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Footnotes:

  1. Is it me or are these the things that cause a team to draft David Veikune in the Eric Mangini era? []
  • Yup

    Chad Ford is good for news but should NOT be listened to seriously about talent evaluation. Two words: Marvin Williams! Haha!

  • Humboldt

    Funny and frightening footnote Craig. Although I think the 2 player situations are fundamentally different in the sense that MKC proved his merit by winning a national title and won’t have to drastically switch positions/systems.

    I fear David Veikune is destined to become a trope in Cleveland sports collective memory. For instance, a team that reaches for a marginal player in a high round will come to be said to have “Veikuned” the pick (also possible: “Robiskied”, “Chaun Thompsoned”, [fill in the blank])

  • http://twitter.com/oribiasi oribiasi

    What’s not to like?  (HA)

  • mgbode

    I think the trade-up scenarios are too rich to do, but agree that MKG is a very good prospect.  He is an elite finisher at the rim (and that is a very important skill) and can develop into a very good PnR partner with Kyrie (his good FT shooting may be indicative of how he could be on those ‘pops’) or a weakside crasher with Kyrie doing his PnR with AV.

    every championship contender needs elite defenders on the wings and I have yet to hear anyone think that MKG will not at least be that.

    ————————————–

    he also happened to have the greatest individual performance of the college basketball season.   24pts 19rbs vs. the elite defense (and rivalry game) Louisville when they were absolutely hacking him as he swept through their defense.

    ————————————–

    he also had plenty of games where he was virtually ignored by Kentucky on offense (as seems to be the case out of almost all the high-end prospects this year which is weird)

  • Jack

    Don’t like picking guys that high who can’t shoot. Corey Maggette 2.0.

  • Bryan

    The obsession with MKG is reaching peak levels on the Cleveland blog scene.  I hope (by some miracle) he is on the board when we pick and Chris Grant passes on him for another wing player. Maybe then people will stop projecting unfettered greatness onto a 19 year old wing player who has no jumpshot.

  • http://twitter.com/PEngle39 Phil Smith

    people said the same thing about Kawhi Leonard and he turned out alright and he’s kind of like a poor man’s MKG.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki
  • http://twitter.com/PEngle39 Phil Smith

    Stars win games in the NBA and this kid is a star. I think the Cavs will do whatever it takes to make sure he’s a Cavalier…..

  • Harv 21

    Wouldn’t by-pass Maggette 2.0 for a “lights-out shooter” like Trajon Langdon. Let’s not repeat our ’99 draft. ;-)

    (yes, realize that was later in the first round but still suffering from post-traumatic paxson syndrome)

  • Dee P

     Munson

  • mgbode

    I know.  When Pippen was MKG’s age, he couldn’t even get floor time for Central Arkansas.

  • Pete

    He’s an 18-year-old wing player with an ugly, ugly jumpshot.

  • smrtazz

    Junkined, Greened, Turpined, Vardelled, Landoned and Dioped

  • Humboldt

    “Dioped” has a particularly depressing ring to it…almost an onomatopoeia

  • Natedawg86

    Dabolled

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

     Luke Jackson???

  • NamedMyKidPrice

    Am I the only one that still thinks Dion Waiters would be a great match with Kyrie?  Some people are saying he has issues but I think he is just ultra competitive and ultra athletic.  If MKG is off the board I want Waiters.

  • Yup

    Reminds how everyone says Robinson will be so much better than TT yet take a look at their respective Big 12 freshmen years. Based on that, who would you draft? TT’s ceiling is far greater than Robinson’s yet so many Cavs followers are already trying to lay the bust tag on TT. Silly…

  • Yup

    Jesus, a guy who was 1st-team all-rookie and is playing on a title contending team is a “poor man’s” MKG who has not played a second of NBA basketball? Ummm, ya surey couldn’t have found a more appropriate comparison?

  • Thekidd56

    Chad Ford really liked this guy too a little while back:  Try and guess..

    ? is really one of a kind. He runs the floor, handles the ball, shoots the NBA 3 and plays with his back to the basket, so you can slot him in at the 3, 4 or 5 positions. OK, a few other guys can do that too; what sets ? apart is his toughness in the post. You have to love a guy who has the footwork to spin by an opponent but still prefers to lower a shoulder and bang. Fact is, ? plays in attack-mode at both ends of the floor. The more you push, the more he pushes back. While he won’t be asked to carry the TEAM, he’s capable of doing this earlier than you think. 

  • porckchopexpress

    Different era.  Its like saying MKG is better than Kareem because Lew Alcindor didn’t play on varsity his freshman year.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Also: Darko Milicic

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Soon: Hardestied

  • Vindictive_Pat

    My guess is Darko.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Yeah I never really thought of Jesus that way either… although he might have been extremely cool with being called a “poor man’s” something-or-rather if you think about it.

  • Thekidd56

    Good guess

  • Wow

    I’m hearing a lot of good things about Robinson and Beal. If MKG cannot be had, I will gladly take either of them. 

  • mgbode

    extra points for playing ball in sandals

  • mgbode

    plenty of freshmen played significant minutes in the early 80s.  Jordan hit sort of an important shot for UNC his freshman year and all. 

    no, not like today with the 1-n-done’s but it’s not like Pippen was playing for a top team either (showing how he was thought of as a prospect at the time).  doesn’t mean MKG will be Pippen – far from it. 

  • Bryan

     Different era?  Robinson is two years older than TT.  That makes no sense.

  • Bryan

     Yeah, I remember Ford loved Darko.  I am guessing Darko.

  • porckchopexpress

    It makes no sense because i wasn’t comparing Robinson/TT/MKG, I was talking about comparing Scottie Pippen not playing as a freshmen to MKG playing as a freshmen.  Hope that clears it up.

  • floydrubino

    I couldn’t agree more. Ric Bucher and Ford know nothing about players and just report what they here from a couple ex gm’s they have on a payroll. I will be happy with any 1 of the top 4 players in draft. Davis, Robinson, Beal and MKG will do just fine. No need to trade up and lose picks unless you can do it for just one second rounder. 

  • floydrubino

    you must work for the front office of cavs as a talent scout because it’s this type of assessment that has made us have a roster with the least amount of talent along with a couple other teams in the nba. TT has no jump shot, is slow, and has no post moves but his ceiling is higher than  T-Rob. got it.

  • floydrubino

    I like Moe Harkless better in that area of the draft.

  • floydrubino

    Any of the top 4 should be able to contribute to the cavs. If we start looking at players outside of top 4 like lamb and barnes is where its obvious that the people in the front office know nothing about basketball and are listening to scouts that are more reporters than actual talent evaluators.

  • floydrubino

    A star and whatever it takes to get a guy who isn’t even the no 1 prospect. I think if this is the attitude the cavs adopt than go after Davis and not a guy who might end up being a solid defender with high energy. 

  • Bryan

    Got it.  That DOES make sense.

  • http://twitter.com/Mike_CavsHQ Michael Curry

    FYI: Thomas Robinson (3/17/91) is actually a few days younger than Tristan Thompson (3/13/91).

  • mgbode

    is slow?  of all the things you can argue with TT, he’s not slow.  he gets up and down the court just fine.

  • mgbode

    you apparently don’t want to listen to the scouts who LOVE J.Lamb and Barnes.  

  • Yup

    And his first step is pretty explosive. He got past pretty much everyone last year wih his first step. When he learns to finsh after that first step, look out.

    Yes, TT has a higher ceiling cuz he has better physical attributes than Robinson and is YOUNGER, hence my post about comparing him as a frosh at UT to Robinson as a frosh at KU. Try to keep up…

  • Yup

    Oops, he’s not younger than Robinson! Haha! Disregard that point! They’re the same age. Man, how is that possible? Anyway, I am wrong. Forget the point…

  • floydrubino

    TT has an average ceiling and unfortunately you obviously don’t know how to assess talent. He has no outside shot and no post moves. Real great upside. Try to keep up was funny when you posted something wrong. Well done.

  • floydrubino

    I couldn’t disagree more.

  • floydrubino

    These are the same guys who loved darko milicic and marvin williams. Just because it’s written on espn doesn’t make it correct.