|NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||06.13.12 at 9:18 pm ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Small forward
Weight: 228 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-America second team, 2012 All-SEC first team
Key 2011-12 stats: 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 49.1 FG%, 31.1 minutes
What he brings: Kidd-Gilchrist is a strong, athletic forward who uses his speed and leaping ability to finish at the rim with authority. Though he isn’t an elite jump shooter, he has a solid ability to beat his defender off the dribble and get to the rim. He also is a great off-the-ball offensive player. Kidd-Gilchrist has potential to be a lockdown defender at both the forward positions thanks to his length, supreme athleticism and relentless motor.
The 18-year-old one-and-done Wildcat is an all-around player, but he doesn’t necessarily excel in any particular department. His skill set is wide but not deep. Kidd-Gilchrist also is undersized for the NBA game and it may be difficult for him to be as effective in his attack-the-rim offensive style. He will need to improve his jump shot if he wants to be an effective scorer at the next level.
Despite not having a particularly elite skill, Kidd-Gilchrist brings an intense work ethic and style of play that could help any team in the NBA. He isn’t a project since he possess a solid two-way game, but NBA coaches could definitely help improve some aspects of his game.
Where the Celtics could get him: Kidd-Gilchrist is a certain top-five pick and could go as high as second. The Celtics would need to make a huge trade to move up that far.
Notes: Kidd-Gilchrist helped Kentucky win the national championship this year. In high school he was a 2011 McDonald’s All-American and a finalist for the Naismith Award for the nation’s best high school player.
Video: Here are highlights of Kidd-Gilchrist’s lone season at Kentucky.