Where do Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist fit with Charlotte Hornets?
Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had successful surgery in Philadelphia on Tuesday to address a chronic groin strain, the team announced.
The Hornets expect the seven-season veteran to be fully healed before training camp in September. The remaining question concerning Kidd-Gilchrist is whether he will opt into a $13 million guaranteed salary for next season with the Hornets or become a free agent.
Kidd-Gilchrist has until June 22 to opt out. He said in April it’s not automatic that he will opt in, that “happiness” is as important as “money” in whatever decision he makes. However, it seems unlikely at this stage in his NBA career that Kidd-Gilchrist would do better than the $13 million left on his contract.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Kentucky, Kidd-Gilchrist was not a starter last season for the first time in his career. He averaged career lows in minutes (18.4) and points (6.7). He did not play four games, while healthy, which he said was unprecedented in his basketball career. It’s unclear how much he would play as a Hornet next season.
An alternative for Kidd-Gilchrist could be to opt-in, see how next season plays out, and, if he’s unhappy with his role, give up a portion of his guaranteed salary to be released by the Hornets.