Charlotte Hornets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist appears to be the odd man out

Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Going into the 2019-20 season, there’s a chance that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist falls out of the rotation entirely for the Charlotte Hornets.

The Charlotte Hornets‘ roster is set for training camp, and one of the more intriguing story lines to keep an eye on will be the role of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG, as many people like to call him, may need a strong performance in camp and in preseason in order to earn a rotation spot.

After losing Kemba Walker to the Boston Celtics, Kidd-Gilchrist is now the longest-tenured player on the Hornets roster. He’s going into a contract season and is looking to show teams around the league that he can still be a force. Time will tell if he gets that opportunity, but right now, his pathway to minutes is long and bumpy.

It appears that Dwayne Bacon and Miles Bridges will get the majority of the wing/forward minutes for the Hornets, with Marvin Williams and PJ Washington also in the mix for playing time. The Hornets want a younger look, which could hurt the value of veterans like Kidd-Gilchrist.

In an interview with Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, Head Coach James Borrego acknowledged that he’s going to play the younger guys more often, and that he won’t coach based off of contracts or experience. Kidd-Gilchrist is well aware of the Hornets plans in 2019-20.

"“I’m not going to coach a team based on contracts, what you’re making, where you were drafted, if you were drafted. To me, that’s not my job. My job is to get the most out of them, whether they were drafted or not.”"

It’s not surprising to hear that Borrego is leaning towards playing the youngsters more and more often. The Hornets are in the first stage of a rebuild, so getting those players experience throughout an 82 game season will be beneficial.

Kidd-Gilchrist has already somewhat fallen out of favor. Last season, MKG played in just 64 games, averaging 6.7 points in 18.4 minutes. He did miss some time with multiple injuries, but he was in-and-out of the rotation throughout the last three months of the season.

In his place, Dwayne Bacon saw a major increase in playing time, and he ran away with that opportunity, averaging 11.4 points and 2.8 rebounds after the All-Star break.

Kidd-Gilchrist is still only 25 years old, but his time with the Hornets is clearly coming to an end. He’s still a very good perimeter defender, but his offense has failed to catch up to his defense in seven seasons and it’s hard to believe that it ever will in a Charlotte uniform.

I’m a big fan of his game, but a break up would be beneficial for both sides. Kidd-Gilchrist will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and should have multiple suitors around the league thanks to his defense and energy on the court.

Next. Is Kobi Simmons NBA or G-League bound?. dark

It wouldn’t surprise me if Kidd-Gilchrist is in the rotation on opening night, but as the season progresses, the Charlotte Hornets are likely going to lean on younger players more and more often, which is bad news for MKG’s playing time.