Charlotte Hornets: Where do we go from here with Malik Monk?

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets, Malik Monk
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

So far in Malik Monk’s career, the Arkansan has had to play a variety of roles, both offensively and defensively, for the Charlotte Hornets. The ever-changing responsibilities and roles have not helped fans in understanding what kind of role Monk is best suited for in the NBA.

As established in part I, part II and part III Malik Monk’s defensive awareness, basketball IQ, and strength has improved to a point where he is generally positive on the floor for the Charlotte Hornets. However, the current iteration of Malik Monk is still a bit of a “tweener,” not quite suited to point guard, not quite suited to shooting guard either for the Charlotte Hornets.

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The positional murkiness associated with Malik Monk is something James Borrego, Charlotte Hornets coach, has previously talked about, and to be honest, Borrego didn’t help much in finding the role best suited for Monk at the NBA level.

Despite Monk’s improved playmaking ability, he was eighth on the team in average touches per game this season. Miles Bridges, who’s ballhandling is a major weakness, even dwarfed Monk in this department.

Borrego was content to use Monk as a shooting guard; that is in spite of Monk shooting a career-low 28.4% from 3 and a career-high 54.2% from 2-point field goals…that is in spite of Terry Rozier’s meek playmaking abilities.

To be fair to the man affectionately dubbed “JB,” Monk is somewhat culpable for his own positional instabilities. Heading into the 2019/2020 season, Borrego set clear expectations for Monk; not just to improve his physical strength(which Monk clearly did), not just to improve his feel for the game(which he did, especially on defense), but also to increase his 3 point shooting numbers to around 40%. That didn’t happen.

Furthermore, ideas like “Chicago” and using Monk as a screener showcased some of Borrego’s creativity, getting Monk involved in an off-ball role. But ultimately, Borrego’s decision to restrict Monk to off-guard, coupled with Monk’s poor shooting, resulted in Monk’s struggles to consistently assert himself on offense.

This piece will detail some improvements Malik Monk needs to make, in order to transition from a tweener to a damaging combo guard, proficient at the 1 or the 2.

Next. The shooting guard route. dark