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ATH Mailbag: Will Miles Bridges Play Power-Forward?

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Answering questions about Kemba Walker’s future, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s minutes, and much more.

2018 NBA Summer League - Las Vegas - Oklahoma City Thunder v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets have been very busy this offseason. There has been multiple trades, many draft picks, and even a uniform reveal. You can send your questions to athmailbag@gmail.com, or simply message @At_The_Hive on Twitter. This mailbag will be a weekly series from today moving forward, occurring once a week on Fridays.

Now, let’s get to some questions.

Can Kemba Walker and Malik Monk co-exist starting together?

Kemba Walker is obviously one of the best point guards in the NBA. Malik Monk, while full of potential, doesn’t have the defensive capability that you’d want alongside him. I think a backcourt featuring both players certainly is possible. However, defense wins championships, and that backcourt lacks it. Still, if you want to have a good time and just watch players throw up shots, that may be the pair you want in the game.

How do you think MKG’s minutes are going to play out next season?

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist very well could be the odd man out of the wing rotation in 2018. With young players like Miles Bridges and Dwayne Bacon on the come-up, I doubt MKG will have the minutes he once did. I mean, Bridges already has a better offensive than MKG’s. It wouldn’t be surprising if he was thrown out of the rotation altogether, similar to Monk’s mid-season minute drought in 2017. Rumor has it that Batum is going to move back to the three, which leads me to assume Borrego isn’t as much of a believer in Kidd-Gilchrist as Steve Clifford once was.

Will Miles Bridges play power forward?

No player on the wing should be restricted to only one position, and that includes Miles Bridges. While power forward is arguably the Hornets’ weakest position, I think it would take a lot for Bridges to have to play that position. Perhaps in some small-ball scenarios, it would be justifiable considering Bridges’s athleticism. For the most part, though, Bridges should play small forward.

How do you see the backup Center position playing out?

Well first, Mitch Kupchak has previously stated that the starting center spot has not been decided yet. That said, it’s safe to assume Cody Zeller will be that guy. Anywhere from 20-30 minutes for Zeller sounds reasonable, but after that, I have no idea. Bismack Biyombo seems like the type of player you’d want to play alongside Frank Kaminsky (you know, for defense). I think Willy Hernangomez and Biyombo will split minutes 50-50, it just depends on who is playing with who.

Will the Hornets ever successfully trade Michael Kidd-Gilchrist?

This is a tough question. Charlotte was actively shopping Nicolas Batum, Dwight Howard, Marvin Williams, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the trade deadline in February but were wildly unsuccessful in this effort. Because of this, they made Kemba Walker “available.” Unless the Hornets include one or two second-round picks, it may be tougher to move MKG than to not. As of now, Kidd-Gilchrist has a one year contract plus a player option in 2019. To add, pretty much everyone assumes MKG will indeed accept that player option. However, if the Hornets plan on giving Kemba Walker a max contract, it may be worth it to get that contract off of the books in order to stay under the luxury tax.

Will Kemba Walker be moved before the trade deadline?

This all depends on whether the Hornets have a successful first half of the season. The Hornets hope to make the NBA playoffs, but if they disappoint, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Walker moved. If Charlotte stays in the playoff mix by February, then I really don’t see Kupchak trading Walker, unless he is very confident he will not re-sign.