Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk benefits the most from Jeremy Lamb’s departure

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

With former Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb agreeing to a deal with Indiana, Malik Monk has a clear path for legit playing time moving forward.

While other teams are thrilled with the outcome of just one day of Free Agency thus far, other teams are not. It’s been a rough start for the Charlotte Hornets, but with a rebuild year(s) incoming, nobody benefited from day one better than Malik Monk.

Monk, who will be entering his third year in the NBA, has not lived up to expectations thus far. He was the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Monk will now likely have a chance to salvage his disappointing beginning, starting with the 2019-20 season.

Why do I say this? Well, as many of you know, Jeremy Lamb, who was the Hornets starting two-guard this past season, has agreed to a three-year, $31.5 million deal. With him going to Indiana (that was a major steal for Indiana, by the way), Monk becomes the clear option to start at shooting guard and play along side Terry Rozier in the back court next season.

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Nicolas Batum is another candidate to start at shooting guard, but considering the Hornets will be rebuilding, it makes more sense to give the time to Monk and get a long look at what he can really do. So far, Monk has gotten inconsistent playing time during his two-year career; that could change next season.

With the Hornets losing both Jeremy Lamb and Kemba Walker, a major chunk of their offensive production went out the door with them. Charlotte’s going to need to see improvement from players like Monk.

For context, Lamb averaged 15.3 points this past season, and Walker averaged 25.6 points. That’s a combined 40.9 points per game. That’s going to be tough to replace, but the back court of Rozier and Monk can certainly put points on the board, but they also will give up a lot of points.

Coming out of Kentucky, Monk was known for his offensive ability. He could explode at anytime, and he showed that when he dropped 47 points against North Carolina during his lone freshman season. You can still see the offensive flair that caught many scouts eyes, but he has struggled with consistency and just overall decision making.

I truly believed that Monk would end up being an elite offensive player in the NBA, and I still do think he has that capability. He’s a good three-point shooter, an incredible athlete that can get to the basket and create, and he perhaps best of all, he has no conscience. That may hurt him at times, but he’s fearless on the offensive end.

It’s clear that Monk, barring a trade, is going to see an increased opportunity with the Hornets. He still has plenty of time to clean up this up-and-down start to his career. He won’t be on the Summer-League roster, but I’m expecting a big summer out of Monk as he prepares for the 2019-20 season.

Next. Hornets find point guard of the future in Terry Rozier. dark

We shall see what other roster moves the Charlotte Hornets make during Free Agency, but regardless, Monk is in good shape for playing time. He’s probably not going to be the most efficient player, but it will be nice to see him finally get unleashed