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Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist picks up his player option for the 2019-20 season

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This was expected.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has opted into the final year of his contract.

The move will keep Kidd-Gilchrist under contract with the Hornets for $13 million in the 2019-20 season.

Kidd-Gilchrist is coming off an up and down 2018-19 season. New head coach James Borrego recasted MKG as a backup power forward after he spent the first six seasons of his career as a starting small forward. He thrived in the role early on bringing nonstop energy and defensive intensity off the bench, but he started to fade into the background as the season went on and eventually fell out of the rotation almost entirely.

It was reported about a week ago that Kidd-Gilchrist had surgery to repair a nagging groin injury. That may be partly to blame for his late season drop off.

It’ll be interesting to see if MKG plays out the final year of his contract with the Hornets. He doesn’t seem to be in the team’s long term plans and his expiring contract could b excellent trade bait either now or at next season’s trade deadline.