Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could make Mavericks debut against Magic; Younger Hornets getting chances
Former Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist put another NBA uniform on for the first time on Wednesday when the Dallas Mavericks took on the Sacramento Kings.
Kidd-Gilchrist was on the bench for the Mavericks in that game, but did not enter the contest during the 130-111 win for Dallas.
After reaching a buy-out on the remainder of his contract with the Hornets last weekend, Kidd-Gilchrist signed with the Mavericks. The next game they play is on Feb. 21 is in Orlando against the Magic, so Kidd-Gilchrist could make his Mavericks debut against former Hornets' head coach Steve Clifford.
Kidd-Gilchrist, 26, had fallen out of favor in the competition for playing time with the Hornets. He appeared in just 12 games with the Hornets this season, averaging 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per-game.
Still, Kidd-Gilchrist has shown the ability to be a versatile defender and a solid rebounder. The Mavericks are in sixth place in the Western Conference and a player with MKG's skill-set could help them in a playoff series, when they need an energetic defender to disrupt a potent offense.
“He’s a guy that we’ve liked for a long time,” Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle told Mavs.com on Tuesday. “He’s a great competitor, a helluva defender, a great rebounder and a guy who is working on his shooting, and his 3-point shooting is getting better every year. "
Carlisle later added: “We see him as a multi-position player, probably more (power forward) and (center) as the game continues to get smaller and faster. But we feel like he can guard any position on the floor. "
The departures of Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams has freed up minutes and opportunities for younger players in Charlotte. In the Hornets' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, undrafted rookie Caleb Martin started and tallied eight points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Jalen McDaniels -- who, like Martin, has spent most of the season in the G-League -- played 22 minutes and racked up 10 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Charlotte has won two straight games since waiving Kidd-Gilchrist and Williams, and will go for its third straight win on Thursday at Chicago.