You can submit questions to this mailbag by direct messaging/replying to the @At_The_Hive Twitter account, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben, @ben_thoen on Twitter, asks how common trades are between August and October, and if he should expect any more moves before the season starts.
Honestly, not too common. Obviously, there was a major trade last offseason when Kyrie Irving was sent to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and the Brooklyn Nets first round pick. But I could see the Charlotte Hornets making another move. Chris Kroeger, new Hornets’ radio voice, went on the Locked On Hornets podcast a couple of days ago. He said that he wouldn’t be too shocked if this roster changed from another trade in some capacity.
@LBsLounge on Twitter asks the predicted stat line for Malik Monk
Monk should be the Hornets’ most interesting player this season. It’s hard to say exactly what his role will be, but Borrego has hinted that Monk could play a sixth man-type role. If that’s the case, I could see Monk averaging anywhere between 10-15 points per game.
Last season, Monk showed a bit of potential as a passer, so I expect him to average around 2-3 assists. As rebounding goes, Monk is an undersized guard (meaning he certainly will not get many rebounds.) 1-2 sounds about right. Monk’s main flaw in 2017-18 was his efficiency. If he can go from 37 percennt from the field to about 42-45 percent, that would do the Hornets offense wonders.
Corbin, @CorbinSpivey on Twitter, asks how the minutes at SG will be spread.
Since Nicolas Batum is moving back to small forward, the minutes should mainly be divided between Jeremy Lamb and Malik Monk. As discussed earlier, it has been indicated Monk will play as the sixth man, which could mean anything from 20-30 minutes. My personal expectation is that Lamb and Monk split time 50-50. Of course, that means there is still a logjam at the small forward position, with Bridges, Kidd-Gilchrist, and Bacon all playing behind Batum. This means there may be one or two players left out of the rotation altogether. I suspect it will be Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If so, Charlotte should look to move him before next off-season, with Kemba Walker’s impending free agency.
Noah Farrell, @Purpletennant on Twitter, asks the possibility of a Ryan Anderson-Nicolas Batum swap actually happening based on the rumor circling, and if it makes sense for Charlotte.
First, this isn’t a rumor. My friend Nick Denning wrote a piece on what a trade rumor is December of 2017. Second, it makes sense if the team is looking to save salary. Assuming the Rockets attach some sort of pick, it certainly would be more enticing. If Batum and Anderson were swapped with nothing else, Charlotte would be $7-8 million further from the luxury tax, and would also gain more salary flexibility in 2020, when Anderson’s contract expires (Batum’s contract expires one year later).
Jorge Cantu, @CantuNBA on Twitter, asks who should start at center now that Dwight Howard is gone.
This seems to be the heavy debate that will carry on into pre-season for Hornets fans. I have to believe Cody Zeller gets the start. When healthy, he is an absolute monster in the pick-and-roll. But, again, the main problem with Zeller over the past couple of years has been his health. I could see him getting beaten by Willy Hernangomez for the starting center spot. The one guy I doubt will start, sadly is Bismack Biyombo. Despite all of the memes, Biyombo just hasn’t developed into the guy the Bobcats thought back in 2011.