Buzz City Beat: Charlotte Hornets regular season MVP, MKG has stalled on offense

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 28: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 28: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist /

Buzz City Beat is Swarm and Sting’s one stop for the latest news and stories from around the web about the Charlotte Hornets.

The Queen City team is projected to finish with the 10th worst record in the NBA this season just one win below the Los Angeles Lakers. ( In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at who the Charlotte Hornets’ Most Valuable Player was during the regular season, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist stalling on offense and The Good, The Bad, and The Questions for the team after a disappointing year.

Charlotte’s regular season MVP (

"Kemba Walker is the preeminent reason the Hornets have avoided being a complete disaster. According to, Charlotte is 12.0 points worse per 100 possessions when Walker leaves the floor."

To no one’s surprise, Kemba Walker is clearly the Hornets’ regular-season Most Valuable Player. He leads Charlotte in minutes played, scoring, steals, assists, field goals made, three’s made and free throws made. Looking at advanced stats, the two-time all-star also leads the team in VORP, Box plus/minus, win shares and usage percentage.

Kemba is Charlotte’s clear-cut MVP. He’s carried the Hornets this year. The only other player that could be in the conversation is Dwight Howard as he’s been the second-best player on the team and is playing his best basketball since the 2013-14 season. Walker has been their MVP for each of the last three seasons.

MKG’s offensive development has stagnated (

"The damage Kidd-Gilchrist inflicts on Charlotte’s spacing outweighs the occasional midrange swish. He would be a more interesting player if Charlotte gave him a little added on-ball responsibility — even some touches at the elbow. Two seasons ago, they hoped to do that. Instead, MKG has stagnated."

While Kidd-Gilchrist’s midrange shot has shown improvements over the past few seasons, his role in the Hornets’ offense has remained the same. He stands in the corner or on the wing and waits for an opportunity to either cut to the basket, grab an offensive rebound or get open for a 17-foot jumper. He is almost never involved in pick-and-rolls, post-ups or isolation plays.

Although Michael isn’t the most offensively skilled player, seeing him get a few more touches in the PnR and low post would help include him more in the offense and make his defender actually have to work on that end of the court. Giving him more responsibility on offense may also help him improve his scoring and give Charlotte another scoring threat. The way that MKG is currently used in the offense just isn’t working and playing him alongside Dwight Howard isn’t helping.

Better luck next year: Hornets edition (

"Kupchak or whoever else takes over as Charlotte’s GM will walk into one of the most difficult assignments available in the NBA. What do you even address first – decongesting the cap, or increasing the general talent level? There are no easy answers, and whichever plan the new GM enacts will likely take years to be successfully realized."

Having already been eliminated from the playoffs, it’s time to reflect on the past season. Although the 2017-18 campaign was mostly filled with disappointments for Charlotte, there were a few positives including Kemba Walker breaking Dell Curry‘s scoring record and Jeremy Lamb‘s breakout year while the negatives were comprised of Cody Zeller‘s knee injuries and no expiring contracts.

Next: Offseason issues for Charlotte to address

Going forward, there are a lot of questions that the Hornets need to answer. They will need to start negotiating Kemba’s contract extension and decide if Steve Clifford is going to be their coach going forward. The 2018 NBA Draft will be important and could shape the future direction of the team. Getting a good prospect may be the difference in them keeping or trading Walker.