Buzz City Beat: Charlotte Hornets to interview Ettore Messina, Malik Monk wants to play both guard spots

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 15: Manu Ginobili
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 15: Manu Ginobili /

Buzz City Beat is Swarm and Sting’s one stop for the latest news and stories from around the web about the Charlotte Hornets.

In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at the Charlotte Hornets receiving permission to interview Ettore Messina, Malik Monk wanting to play both point guard and shooting guard and five non-playoff teams who could make the postseason next year.

Hornets to interview Ettore Messina (Twitter/ @WojESPN)

"The Charlotte Hornets have received permission to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for head coach opening, league sources tell ESPN. GM Mitch Kupchak and Messina worked together with Lakers, when Messina was part of Mike Brown’s coaching staff."

Messina is one of the most highly respected assistants in the NBA today. The Italian has been with the San Antonio Spurs since 2014 and has surely been mentored by Gregg Popovich. He started his coaching career in Italy in 1989 and coached some of the top teams in Europe including CSKA Moskow and Real Madrid.

Ettore is a four-time EuroLeague Champ, a two-time EuroLeague Coach of the Year and was an assistant for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. In the past, he’s been linked with the Sacramento Kings, the Toronto Raptors and the Indiana Pacers. His link to Kupchak could make him somewhat of a favorite for the Charlotte Hornets’ vacant head coaching job.

Malik Monk wants to play both guard spots (

"Hornets Guard Malik Monk: “I want to be able to play both Point & Shooting Guard”"

At 6’3, Malik has the size to play both guard spots. The 20-year old already has the ball-handling ability, shooting range and scoring expertise to be effective both on and off the ball. All he needs to improve on is his strength. He said that guarding bigger shooting guards “is not a problem” for him.

Monk also talked about his rookie season and how he got more comfortable as the year went on. He also mentioned that he had a good relationship with Steve Clifford and how he gained more confidence towards the end of the year. I think that having the ability to play both the 1 and 2 will benefit him going forward and give Charlotte a versatile backcourt option.

5 non-playoff teams that could make the postseason next year (

"Cody Zeller’s injury issues hurt the team when Howard was forced to sit and Batum missed 18 games, including 12 to start the season. Other than that, this is just a basketball team that hasn’t quite figured out how to develop a culture of winning."

On paper, Charlotte looks like they have a roster that should compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Although, after back to back losing seasons, that may not be the case and major changes may be needed in order for this team to get back to the postseason. The current squad may not be good enough to get a top-eight seed in the East.

Next: Season Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

While injuries have limited the Hornets in each of the last two years, it’s no excuse for finishing 36-46 on both occasions. Plus, MKG (missed 75 games), Al Jefferson (missed 35 games) and Jeremy Lamb (missed 16 games) all dealt with injuries when they last made the playoffs in 2015-16. The simple fact is they’ve underperformed in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 campaigns.