Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be back in Charlotte Hornets training camp next fall.
Technically he could opt out of his $13 million contract for next year and become a free agent, but that’s not happening. He’s a respectable rotation wing player in the NBA (he averaged 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game off the bench last season), but that kind of money is not out there for him as a free agent, so he’ll opt in. Don’t just take my word for it, here’s Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
A groin issue also is not going to keep him out. Kidd-Gilchrist had surgery to repair his groin, the team announced. From the press release:
The Charlotte Hornets have announced that forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist underwent a successful surgical procedure earlier today to address a chronic groin strain. Kidd-Gilchrist is expected to make a full recovery and be available for the start of the team’s Training Camp in September. The procedure was performed by Dr. William C. Meyers of the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.
The Hornets go into this summer with one big free agency goal: Retain Kemba Walker. He is eligible for a five-year, $221 million supermax contract, a number that may make Michael Jordan and the smaller-market Charlotte franchise a little nervous. However, the most another team can offer him is four years, $141 million, so there may be some middle ground to negotiate. There are a number of franchises hunting name free agents — the Lakers and Knicks among them — who have interest in Walker, but the buzz in league circles is his team is sending out signals he will take the big payday and stay in Charlotte. Can’t ever blame the player for taking the cash.