The Hornets have made point guard Devonte’ Graham a restricted free agent by tendering him a qualifying offer, but won’t give shooting guard Malik Monk a QO, according to Rod Boone of SI.com (Twitter links).
Graham, the 34th overall pick in the 2018 draft, had a breakout season for Charlotte in 2019/20, when he averaged 18.2 PPG and 7.5 APG in 63 games. He saw his role dialed back a little this past season due to the emergence of fellow point guard LaMelo Ball, but was still a solid backcourt contributor for the Hornets, recording 14.8 PPG and 5.4 APG with a .375 3PT%.
Graham’s qualifying is worth approximately $4.7MM. While he could accept that one-year offer, it’s more likely that he’ll work out a more lucrative – and longer-term – agreement with the Hornets or another team. According to Boone, Charlotte considers Graham a part of the team’s core and is hopeful the two sides can work out a new deal.
The Hornets’ decision on Monk is the more interesting of the two. The former 11th overall pick struggled in his first three NBA seasons, making just 32.2% of his three-point attempts and serving a drug-related suspension in 2020. However, he emerged as a reliable role player in 2020/21, averaging 11.7 PPG on .434/.401/.819 shooting in 42 games (20.9 MPG).
With a crowded backcourt – one that now includes 11th overall pick James Bouknight – the Hornets opted against issuing Monk a $7MM+ qualifying offer, so he’ll be free to seek out a new home as an unrestricted free agent. Teams in need of shooting on the wing could give the former Kentucky standout a look this week.