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Prospect Preview: Malik Monk

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Monk may end up out of reach for the Hornets, but he’s the explosive shooter the team could use.

Kentucky v North Carolina Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Malik Monk is the most explosive player in this draft, but he is no safe bet. He is inconsistent on defense and also settles for mid-range jumpers instead of using his vision to creates shots. That being said, he is also the draft’s the best shooter, and if the Hornets are able to select him with the 11th overall pick, it would be foolish to pass on him. From his lateral quickness, to his finishing ability, Monk would help the Hornets in an immense way.

Lets take a step back. When was the last time the Hornets selected a guard in the lottery portion of the NBA draft? Well, that would be in 2011, when the Hornets selected Kemba Walker with the ninth overall pick. Obviously, that worked out pretty well. Other than Walker, the Hornets have not have much draft success, selecting these players in the first round since 2011: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Cody Zeller, Shabazz Napier/PJ Hairston, Noah Vonleh, and Frank Kaminsky. All of these players were labeled as “solid players”, yet Kemba Walker was labeled as a “boom-or-bust” prospect.

I’m not saying that Monk is the next Walker, because they are incredibly different players. At this point, almost everyone analyzing this draft recognizes Monk more as a CJ McCollum type shooting guard, and the worst possible outcome from picking him is a simple spot-up shooter.

Picking Monk would be like going to that restaurant you have always wanted to try. You’ve always had high expectations for the restaurant, but you're not sure if it will live up to your expectations. That restaurant will either disappoint, or become your favorite.

As already mentioned, Monk is explosive, and very quick. He is also good at off-ball screens and shooting in general, making 45 percent of his shots last season. Pull-up jumpers make up almost 80 percent of his shots, and he can often shoot you in or out of a game.

When he’s hot, he can’t seem to miss, but when cold, he can’t buy a bucket. He doesn’t have the best vision, only averaging 2.3 assists per game. His defense is spotty, but can be fixed with more attention and effort. He often settles for shots instead of fighting to the rim. This is probably because of his undersized 6’3’’ height and 6’6’’ wing span. Monk prefers jumpers over assists. He is a project, but with some work, he could be a deadly guard.

With a little emphasis on defense and play making, Monk could develop into one of the premier guards in this league. If I am the Rich Cho, and Malik Monk is sitting available at the seventh or eighth pick, I am going to do my best to attempt and make a move to pick this kid up. He is the best fit for the Hornets in this draft, and if the Hornets somehow managed to pick him up, there will be some extremely happy fans in Charlotte Friday morning.

With all of this in mind, it is unlikely the Hornets will land Monk. Some mock drafts say he could fall out of the top ten, and it is very possible. What will need to happen for Monk to fall to the Hornets? Well, basically, one team needs to overvalue Lauri Markannan or Jonathan Isaac. If that happens, I feel like one or two teams in the 6-10 range will panic, and pick a big man early. We see this happen all of the time in other sports like the NFL. Specifically this year, there was an immense amount of defensive talent in the NFL draft. That lead to some teams overvaluing offensive players. It could easily happen Thursday night, if one or two teams in the top seven overvalues a PF or C.

Monk may be a bit of a pipe dream, but he’s one we can dream about until he gets taken before the 11th pick.

Poll

What should the Hornets do in attempt to draft Malik Monk?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    They should draft someone else.
    (7 votes)
  • 27%
    They should trade up.
    (62 votes)
  • 69%
    They should be patient. If he is there select him, if not, pick the best player available.
    (158 votes)
227 votes total Vote Now