Charlotte Hornets: What do you do with Malik Monk?

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In his third season in the NBA, the Charlotte Hornets have quite the polarizing player on their roster whose future is in the air.

The Charlotte Hornets are in a very interesting situation with their young guard, Malik Monk.

Malik’s first two seasons were as someone who fell in and out of the rotation. He was a sharpshooter who never became.

There would be some games where Monk returned to his College, Kentucky Wildcat form; the type of play that elevated him to becoming a lottery pick. He would explode for big scoring numbers in a quarter. This proved to be unsustainable, however.

Occasionally, he would show a glimpse of his playmaking abilities or his acrobatic finishing at the rim, but it was merely occasional.

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This season Malik has been no better as a sharpshooting guard, however, he has found an aspect of his game that is incredibly impactful for not only himself but his team’s success.

Malik has switched to a combo-guard role who handles the ball much more and uses his playmaking skills more often. His method of scoring has changed for the better as well.

Monk uses his athleticism to get to the rim out of the pick-and-roll and finish with either a hammer or with finesse around his defender; let’s not forget that Malik can’t help but produce highlights when he dunks.

The passion that he plays with is key to his personality as a player. When he is comfortable and he plays with his heart in the game, his demeanor and his contagious confidence will grab hold of you and remind you of who he can be.

He is not a plus defender and can still struggle on that end of the floor but he is dramatically improved from his previous years to begin his young career.

His three-ball is still not anywhere near as efficient or effective as everyone thought it would be. His shooting percentage is, in fact, horrendous, and if you were to look only at his percentage numbers, you would not get why anyone would want to hold on to him to keep as a piece for a winning organization in the future.

The eye test can be very kind to Malik when he is having a great night. He looks like someone to hang on to and to hope he fully pans out with time.

But other nights the eye test does not help him. He can make bad reads on what decisions to make to help the team, or if that isn’t the problem, it is seeing his inability to make jumpers off solid looks.

Something very important to keep in mind that he is about to turn 22 years old! He is nowhere near a finished product who is done developing and what you see is what you’ve got moving forward. Maybe he won’t amount to much more than you see now, who really knows, but chances are, he is not the best version of himself at 22 years old and less than three years into his professional career.


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But with all of that being said, the trade deadline is coming up soon and the young guard has drawn interest already. The Charlotte Hornets don’t need to feel pressured to make a move now, Malik is under contract next year too, but if they receive a tempting offer then they may have to decide what they think about Malik’s future with the organization.

A tough decision for the Hornets is on the horizon, seeing as, after next season, Charlotte would have to sign Monk to a new contract to keep him.

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Malik Monk has proved to be much more polarizing than the “draft steal” from the 2017 draft.