Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been receiving a lot of attention lately across the NBA. First, he signed an extension with the Charlotte Hornets, and this led to debate on if he was worth the money or not. Now, fuel has been added to the MKG debate with his latest accolade. Sports Illustrated did their yearly Top 100 NBA Players list, and MKG found himself ranked in the top 100.
The ranking for MKG sang high praises, and went so far as to call him "the best perimeter defender in the NBA". Oh, and they made sure to remind everybody that he's not even 22 yet. The article went on to mention Kidd-Gilchrist's importance as an anchor for their top 10 defense, and his ever evolving jumpshot.
It's great to see MKG put on a list like this, because it's finally giving him the recognition he deserves as a player. There will always be concern over his jumpshot, and overall offensive game, but it's impossible to ignore that the Hornets as a whole are better with him on the floor, and a huge part of that is his defense. It's probably too early to call him the best perimeter defender in the NBA when Kawhi Leonard is still out there, but there's no mistaking that MKG has an impact that is overlooked at times.
What's worth wondering how however is will MKG climb up the list, or will he eventually fall out of the top 100? So much of his future is predicated on his ability to stay on the floor, and while his short comings on offense are overblown, that end of the floor can still be a liability at times. It's hard to play Kidd-Gilchrist in a lineup that doesn't have fellow shooters around him. If he can develop his game to the point where it doesn't matter who's next to him then the sky is the limit for a guy like him. Of course, not every player achieves that potential, but there are worse players out there to bet on than MKG.