Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk’s success could decide Rich Cho’s future

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Rich Cho may have saved his job with the offseason moves made this year. However, he still has a poor track record when it comes to the NBA draft. Is Malik Monk the answer to his woes?

This is an important topic to address as we look at who the Hornets took with the 11th pick. Going into draft night two names were linked to the Charlotte Hornets. In late May that name was Luke Kennard but Louisville standout Donovan Mitchell began to gain traction in June. It was well known that the Hornets needed guard depth.

Both of these options addressed an area of concern. It was outside shooting and playmaking in Luke’s case and defensive tenacity and athleticism in Donovan Mitchell’s case. However, something unlikely happened and the Hornets finally got some draft day luck.

Kentucky phenom Malik Monk dropped to the Hornets. Monk is arguably the best shooter in the incoming rookie class. However, he is not the playmaker that Kennard is, nor is he the defender that Mitchell has shown.

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The career paths of Kennard, Mitchell, and Monk may always be linked for this reason. Hornets fans were deprived of the opportunity to see Monk play due to his injury. However, both Mitchell and Kennard looked very good during their stints in the Orlando Summer League.

Luke Kennard averaged 17.2 points on 46.5% shooting for the Detroit Pistons. These stats currently place him third on the NBA’s rookie ladder. Donovan Mitchell is currently fifth on the ladder. He played both backcourt positions for the Utah Jazz and averaged 15.3 points while showcasing his lockdown defense.

As I stated above, Rich Cho saved his job this offseason. However, he has always been good at contract and trade negotiations. Unfortunately, his draft record is another story. The last player he took that saw a draft day slide was Noah Vonleh, and he didn’t even last on the team through his rookie contract.

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Malik Monk may very well be a great player, but I think that Michael Jordan is observing how the other rookies are playing. Monk, Kennard, and Mitchell went 11th, 12th, and 13th, respectively. Their careers will be forever linked, just like Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, and Stephen Curry in 2009. Let’s just hope we got the Curry out of the three and Monk is ready to hit the ground running during training camp.