Eastern Notes: Monk, Knox, Ntilikina, Allen, Markkanen

Malik Monk‘s 36-point outburst on Monday pumps up his future value, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. The Hornets guard has knocked down 15-of-26 from 3-point range since he was reinserted into the rotation four games ago and has also served as a playmaker.

“He makes us so much more dynamic. He’s kicking that ball out and making plays for others,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. Charlotte can make Monk a restricted free agent this summer by extending him a $7MM+ qualifying offer. Otherwise, he’ll head into unrestricted free agency.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Two prominent young players, forward Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina, have fallen out of the Knicks’ rotation but it doesn’t appear they’ll join the G League’s Westchester Knicks in Orlando, according to Ian Begley of SNY. Dennis Smith Jr. agreed last week to join the G League club in order to get some playing time. Knox, who is currently stuck behind Reggie Bullock and Alec Burks, could have more trade value than Smith and Ntilikina because he’s under contract next season, Begley adds.
  • Jarrett Allen‘s big performance on Monday provided a glimpse of the future for the Cavaliers, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. With Andre Drummond, who is headed to unrestricted free agency, sidelined by a back injury, Allen erupted for 23 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks. He’s developing chemistry with young guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland and the front office views him as the better long-term fit at center, Fedor adds. Allen will be a restricted free agent this offseason.
  • Following a disappointing season, Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is making a case to be in the team’s long-term plans, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Markkanen, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, is averaging 22.1 PPG and 6.1 RPG while shooting 52.4% from the field over the last eight games.
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