Two and a half years into his career, Malik Monk continues to struggle for the Charlotte Hornets. It seems that this partnership has reached its peak.
The Charlotte Hornets appeared to have struck gold during the 2017 NBA Draft. Malik Monk, a highly coveted scoring guard out of Kentucky, slid past his rumored destination of New York and fell into the laps of Rich Cho and company.
It felt like a steal at the time. I mean, Monk had shown during his one year of college basketball that he can flat out get buckets. His 47 point game against North Carolina caught the attention of a lot of scouts. He put on a show, and the hope was that the Hornets would be getting that version of him.
Now three and a half years into his career, Monk has not taken off like most people expected. In fact, it’s been the exact opposite. Monk hasn’t turned into an offensive star, let alone a starter. He’s been glued to the bench and is currently falling more and more out of favor.
Coming into the season, many thought that Monk would finally have the opportunity at major minutes, giving him the chance to turn his career around. He’s had his good moments, but for the most part, it’s been relatively the same as his first two seasons.
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This season, Monk is averaging just 8.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 19.2 minutes, while shooting a shockingly low 26 percent from the three-point line. His career averages are 8.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 16.4 minutes.
His lack of playing time over the course of his NBA careers stems mostly from lack of defense, shot selection and overall consistency. All three have been a problem for him this season, as has his shooting.
After watching in play in college, I would have never thought Monk would struggle so badly from the perimeter. I mean, in college, he was the kind of guy that could get hot in a hurry and drop 30+ on you any given night.
Granted, the NBA is a whole different animal compared to the college game, but still, 26 percent is awfully low for a guy like Monk with such an overall scoring reputation. His shot has disappeared this season with no signs of coming back.
Monk’s play has been trending downward recently, as he has racked up a combined 28 minutes in the past three games, scoring just five points on 2-7 shooting. He’s played single-digit minutes in the past two games and his rotation spot may be in jeopardy.
So, what’s next for Monk? Well, I’m thinking a trade might be beneficial for both sides. The Hornets had high hopes for Monk, but his lackluster play this season might just be the telling story. As for Monk himself, a fresh start with a new team could be the chance to revive his career.
If Monk is struggling to get time on the court with this rebuilding Hornets team, then I don’t see him ever playing major minutes for them. As much as fans hoped it would work, it simply hasn’t, and it may be time to move on and open up some minutes for a player like Cody Martin.
I loved Malik Monk’s upside coming into the NBA. I still believe that he can be an effective player in the league, but it may not be with the Charlotte Hornets. He’s hit rock bottom at this point, and I can’t help but wonder what’s next for him.
Do the Charlotte Hornets keep moving forward with his development? Or has time run out? We shall see.