The Charlotte Bobcats are shopping Michael Kidd-Gilchrist around the league, confident they will be able to replace him with Otto Porter of Georgetown with the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft.
The reason the Bobcats braintrust of Rich Cho and owner Michael Jordan believe Porter will be available is because, SheridanHoops has learned from league sources, the Washington Wizards are determined to draft Anthony Bennett of UNLV with the No. 3 pick.
A second league source said the Bobcats have been working the phones, gauging the interest level among teams for the 2nd pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
“MKG” had an up-and-down rookie season for the Bobcats averaging 9.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.9 bpg and 0.7 spg. Among the teams most interested, according to the source, are the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics.
Charlotte has targeted Harrison Barnes of the Warriors as the player they would most like to acquire, but a straight-up offer of Kidd-Gilchrist would not be enough.
The Bucks are targeting small forwards after trading Tobias Harris to Orlando for J.J. Redick, and they had their sights set on Crotian Dario Saric before he withdrew from the draft last week. Milwaukee, has the 15th pick, is looking for a defensive-minded small forward and believe Kidd-Gilchrist would be a good fit in coach Larry Drew’s system.
Boston, which presumably will be looking for a replacement for Paul Pierce, who can be bought out for $5 million by June 30 but is more likely to be traded, has the No. 16 pick.
The Hawks have picks Nos. 17 and 18 but very few other trade assets other than John Jenkins, the 23rd overall pick in 2012. The only other Hawks players currently under contract are Al Horford and Lou Williams, although Jeff Teague and Ivan Johnson are expected to receive qualifying offers that will make them restricted free agents.