Mavericks sign Kidd-Gilchrist after buyout with Hornets

DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks added veteran Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to their young core Tuesday as they close in on the franchise’s first trip to the playoffs in four years.

Kidd-Gilchrist, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft, signed with the Mavericks after taking a buyout from the Charlotte Hornets. Dallas waived Ryan Broekhoff to make room for Kidd-Gilchrist.

The 26-year-old Kidd-Gilchrist, drafted by Charlotte behind former Kentucky teammate Anthony Davis, had fallen out of the rotation with the Hornets. The agreement with the Mavericks came two days after Kidd-Gilchrist was waived.

At 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds in his eighth season, Kidd-Gilchrist gives Dallas the size and experience to help defend some of the elite forwards in the rugged Western Conference.

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Offense will be the bigger question in a scheme that relies heavily on 3-point shooting even from most of Dallas’ frontcourt players, including 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Kidd-Gilchrist struggled with his shooting despite efforts to improve his form. He is shooting 47.5% from the field and 28% from 3-point range for his career.

After playing in just 12 games with Charlotte this season, Kidd-Gilchrist has career averages of 8.6 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Led by 20-year-old sensation Luka Doncic, the Mavericks are in strong position to end their longest stretch without making the playoffs in 20 years.

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Dallas has a realistic shot at finishing as high as fourth in the West and is seven games clear of ninth with 28 games remaining.

Broekhoff was in his second season with the Mavericks after the Australian joined them as a 28-year-old rookie. Broekhoff averaged 4.0 points in 59 career games while shooting 40% from 3 for Dallas. He missed a month this season with a broken lower left leg.