Buzz City Beat: Charlotte Hornets biggest disappointments, Malik Monk’s summer plans

CHARLOTTE, NC - APRIL 8: Malik Monk /

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

The Charlotte Hornets‘ all-time leading scorer, Kemba Walker, is celebrating his 28th birthday on May 8th. (VIDEO via Ball is Life) In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at Charlotte’s biggest disappointments in the 2017-18 season, Malik Monk‘s summer plans and what the Hornets should do if they win the lottery.

Hornets’ biggest disappointments (

"5. Cody Zeller knee issues, 4. The down then up performance of Malik Monk, 3. Michael Carter-Williams, 2. The Hornets’ team defense was an eyesore and 1. Missing the playoffs yet again."

Zeller’s knee injuries limited him to only 33 games this season. He’s missed a total of 98 games over the past four years. His health should be a real concern for Charlotte going forward. Malik Monk riding the bench behind Michael Carter-Williams for most of the season wasn’t a good look on both the team and the player but at least he had a strong finish to the year. Still, he severely underperformed expectations during his rookie campaign.

MCW was the Hornets’ worst offseason move this past year and arguably their worst rotation player. Charlotte’s defense fell from 13th (104.7) in opponents points per game last season to 19th (108.0) this year and from 14th (108.6) in defensive rating to 16th (109.1). Missing the postseason isn’t anything new for the team but considering the high expectations that surrounded them before the start of the year, it was the most disappointing part of the season.

Malik Monk’s summer plans (Twitter/ @PeteGuelli)

"“But now, I got this summer & I just got to work hard, even harder than I did before. I’m going to work. I’m going to start early, too. I think I’m going to start in the next 2 weeks because I missed so much last yr. It’s going to be a good summer for me.” – Malik Monk"

It sounds like Monk is planning to work hard this summer so that he could have an impressive sophomore season after a rather disappointing rookie campaign. Last summer, Malik missed the entire summer league. Although he was able to participate in training camp and all five preseason games, missing the entire summer did slow his development.

He will try to make up for lost time this offseason. The Hornets’ prospect is wasting no time getting back to work this summer. The plan is for Monk, and fellow rookie Dwayne Bacon, to play in the Las Vegas Summer League this year.

What the Hornets should do if they win the lottery (

"Plan A: Draft Doncic. If the Charlotte Hornets get lucky and win the lottery, they should keep Kemba Walker and take Doncic. That’s a backcourt to build around, with Walker’s speed and scoring a strong complement to Doncic’s size and overall versatility."

You can’t go wrong with drafting one of the two top prospects and the best international prospect. While DeAndre Ayton would be an interesting option, Charlotte’s best bet is to take a perimeter player with star potential like Doncic. Plus, they already have Dwight Howard who played well last season.

Next: Charlotte's 15 greatest draft picks in franchise history

Ayton could be a future all-star but I think that Luka has the most star potential in the 2018 draft class. Although it’s unlikely that the Hornets land the No.1 pick as they only have a 0.8% chance of doing so, there should be no hesitation to select Doncic from Michael Jordan and company. Also, Mitch Kupchak did scout the Slovenian in Europe.