Malik Monk is waiting for the Hornets to give him a chance after his bout with COVID-19 earlier this month, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Monk hasn’t gotten into a game yet this season and is fighting for playing time on a roster that’s much deeper at the wing than it was last year.
Monk will be a free agent when the offseason arrives, and the Hornets can make him restricted with a $7.3MM qualifying offer. He views this season as an audition for his NBA future.
“This is the big one. A big step to show what I can do,” Monk said. “With other teams, not only the Charlotte Hornets. To show other teams what I can do and how productive I can be. I can’t do that if I’m not on the court, but I don’t control that.”
Monk was hoping for better after a breakthrough performance in February when he averaged 17.0 PPG on 46% shooting in 13 games. However, before the month ended, he was suspended indefinitely for a violation of the NBA’s drug policy. Monk said he hasn’t received much feedback from coaches about what he needs to do to earn minutes.
“Super, super, super freaking frustrating (with) the waiting,” he said. “The month of February, I finally became an NBA player, finally got the minutes I thought I deserved a couple of years ago. I was proving myself. And that’s all I really could ask for at that point.”
- Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward have formed an instant chemistry as Hornets teammates, observes Sam Perley of NBA.com. They spent two years together with the Celtics, but Hayward was injured for much of that time. “Based on what I see, I think they play off each other well,” coach James Borrego said. “I’m sure they understand each other’s game at a higher level than if they just came in blindly to this situation. There’s history there, there’s chemistry, there’s connection. I think that helps us right now.”
- The Magic are enjoying the benefits of their Serge Ibaka trade in 2017, notes Josh Cohen of NBA.com. With Ibaka headed toward free agency, Orlando shipped him to the Raptors at the deadline in exchange for Terrence Ross and a first-round pick. Ross is still a productive player for the Magic, and the pick eventually helped acquire Markelle Fultz from the Sixers.
- The Heat used Andre Iguodala as a starter tonight, allowing him to extend a streak that began in 2004, tweets Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. Iguodala has started at least one game in every calendar year since entering the league, but tonight marked his first start since the 2019 NBA Finals.