Chicago Bulls: Free agent SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist potentially adds depth

(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

If he wants a change of scenery and doesn’t pick up his player option, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could be a solid free agent target for the Chicago Bulls.

The rotation for the Chicago Bulls isn’t in the best shape right now. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done for the Bulls to get back to a respectable point of contention in the Eastern Conference, despite the building young core. Adding wing depth is a task that John Paxson and Gar Forman could accomplish for the Bulls in the NBA Draft and free agency. Is one valid target for the Bulls and GarPax the Charlotte Hornets possible to-be free agent forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist?

It is certainly possible that the Bulls get a bargain deal on Kidd-Gilchrist if he comes available from the Hornets this summer. The free agent market will be ripe with wing talent and he could be a nice under-the-radar veteran snag in the Windy City.

MKG does have a player option with the Hornets, so there’s no guarantee that he hits the free agent market. But he could be a nice fit in the Windy City whether he comes available this summer or next. He has a $13 million team option that the Hornets should be happy to land if he returns for the final year of his contract.

The decision as to whether MKG returns largely relies on what happens with star point guard Kemba Walker. If the Hornets ink down Kemba to a supermax but have the opportunity to get another big time player in free agency, MKG could have extra motivation to return.

The current contract that MKG is on makes him an unrestricted free agent next offseason. That contract deal he has one year left on was originally signed for four years, worth $52 million in total for the salary.

The biggest reason for MKG to opt out of the last year of his contract is crystal clear. He might be able to land in a situation for the long-term getting more money elsewhere. The Hornets might not have long-term plans in mind for the former Kentucky Wildcats star wing.

A crucial reason for MKG to stick around would be continuing a potential building core around Kemba. If the Hornets land one more solid player to upgrade the frontcourt while retaining key players this summer, this team could move its way into contender status in the Eastern Conference.

Staying in Charlotte could also be the safe move for MKG since he’s coming off a surgery earlier this month. His market might not be as fruitful as it would otherwise be if he didn’t have an off-season surgery.

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In the past four seasons, MKG proved that he can be a low-cost wing that adds versatile depth in the rotation. He’s a capable two-way wing that does a lot of things well, but doesn’t particularly dominate in many facets of his game. For a Bulls team that needs more veteran depth in the rotation, MKG could be a good option worth looking into if he opts out of the final year of his deal in Charlotte.