2018-19 Off the Glass Breakout Player Series: Malik Monk
At the Hive
With the 2018-2019 NBA season upon us, Off The Glass is making predictions on who breakout players from each team will be. Today we look at Malik Monk of the Charlotte Hornets.
Michael Jordan is the only man who can simultaneously make the case for greatest player and worst owner the NBA has ever seen.
This is a man who drafted Adam Morrison ahead of players like Brandon Roy, Rudy Gay, and Kyle Lowry. Who selected Michael Kidd Gilchrist right before Bradley Beal. Who even drafted Cody Zeller ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Mercifully, MJ may have finally gotten it right when took Malik Monk 11th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Monk struggled in his first season with the Hornets, averaging a measly 6.7 PPG while shooting just 36 percent from the field. And he’ll probably never become a superstar in the NBA, or even an All-Star. Could he be a starter on a championship team? Sure, depending on who the other four players on the court are.
Malik Monk’s ideal role in today’s NBA would be the number one guy off the bench. Because this guy can put the ball in the hole. Sure, he’s a bit undersized--a big reason why he’ll never be a superstar--but he’s got length. Standing at just 6”2 he sports a 6”4 wingspan, which allows him to get his shot off even when he’s matched up against guards taller than he is. Monk can shoot the three, can put the ball on the floor, and can finish in the lane, all the tools needed to be a proficient scorer.
Last season Monk played just over 13 minutes a game; in three games this year he hasn’t played less than 25 minutes per contest. Clearly the Hornets want to give him a chance to show his skills and he’s done well so far scoring 18, 11 and 15 points in each respective outing.
Monk doesn’t yet do much more beyond offensive output. He’s not a great rebounder, nor a particularly good passer, and despite solid defense, he doesn’t log a lot of steals or blocks. So if you’re expecting to see a guy that’s going to fill up the stat sheet, Monk is not your horse.
If Monk he can become a more efficient scorer, he could have a career in the NBA playing a role similar to Jamal Crawford or Lou Williams. I think you’re going to start to see Malik Monk scoring in bunches throughout the 2018/19 NBA season.