Charlotte Hornets Free Agency: Devonte’ Graham tendered, Malik Monk not

Malik Monk (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Malik Monk (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images) /

The Charlotte Hornets have made two big decisions on Devonte Graham and Malik Monk in regards to their future on the team. One perhaps more surprising than the other.

On Sunday, the Hornets announced that they would extend a qualifying offer to Graham, which would make him a restricted free agent. Being a restricted free agent would mean that any team can make an offer to Graham, and the Hornets can either match the offer within three days or lose him to that team.

Graham’s numbers last season were respectable averaging 14.8 points and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 37.5% from three in 55 games. A small decline from the 2019-20 season, where he came on the scene from out of nowhere to average 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 37.3% from three.

Charlotte Hornets, Devonte' Graham
Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Hornets (Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports) /

Graham has made 431 three-pointers in only three seasons with the Hornets, and he is the second player in Hornets franchise history to make 175+ three-pointers in consecutive seasons (218 in 2019-20, 179 in 2020-21), joining Kemba Walker.

While the Hornets made a qualifying offer to Graham, the team announced that they would not be making an offer to Monk, their first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. In his four seasons with the Hornets, he improved his points per game each season (from 6.3 in 2017-18 to a career-high 11.7 in 2020-21), but he could never find his way into the starting rotation, as he only started one of his 233 career games with the Hornets.

The declining of the qualifying offer makes Monk an unrestricted free agent, and he will likely get an offer with another team. Monk is not only coming off a career year in points but also in three-point shooting, where he shot 40.1% from behind the arc.

Quite frankly, the moves were expected, if nobody makes an offer for Graham, it would be a less expensive option, as there are reportedly 10 teams that are interested in Terry Rozier, according to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. Among those teams, are the LA Clippers and Miami Heat. Graham would work off the ball well with rookie of the year LaMelo Ball. Monk’s fate was essentially sealed during the NBA Draft when the Hornets selected James Bouknight out of UCONN. With the upside that Bouknight brings to the team, it made Monk expendable. While he did improve his numbers, it was clear that his whole body of work during the contract was not impressive enough to make even a qualifying offer, so the Hornets will be ok with letting him walk.

Next. Charlotte Hornets: How James Bouknight will impact the team. dark