Malik Monk

Malik Monk On Knicks’ Radar

Some members of the Knicks‘ organization view Hornets guard Malik Monk as a trade target worth pursuing, sources tell Ian Begley of However, Begley cautions that it’s not clear whether New York and Charlotte have actually had any conversations about Monk.

Monk, who will turn 22 next month, hasn’t developed like the Hornets hoped when they drafted him 11th overall in 2017. This season, he’s averaging 8.4 PPG with a career-high .429 FG%, but his 3PT% has slipped to a dismal .252. A change of scenery could benefit the former Kentucky sharpshooter.

As Begley writes, the Knicks are believed to be interested in acquiring a starter-level player who could help the team in both the short- and long-term. However, the front office appears reluctant to part with any of its top young prospects or future first-round picks, so acquiring a starter-level player will be a challenge.

Landing a reclamation project like Monk might be a more realistic scenario, though the Knicks haven’t had much success with another change-of-scenery prospect from the 2017 lottery, Dennis Smith Jr.

Whether or not they pursue Monk, the Knicks seem likely to be active at the trade deadline, according to Begley, who notes that contenders around the NBA continue to monitor New York’s veterans, including Marcus Morris.

Eastern Notes: DeRozan, Heat, Hornets

Would it make sense for the Raptors to trade for DeMar DeRozan? Toronto can combine the contracts of Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka in order to make a trade work, John Hollinger of The Athletic writes. However, the scribe believes there are other options on the trade market that would better fit the team such as Orlando’s Evan Fournier.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Trading for either Chris Paul or Kevin Love would take Miami out of the Giannis Antetokounmpo sweepstakes in 2021 due to a lack of cap space, Hollinger adds in the same piece. The Heat are one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and may need more time to figure out whether it’s worth giving up the chance to strengthen the squad now to chase a superstar later.
  • Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer wonders whether Malik Monk is better served as a long-term piece in Charlotte or as a trade asset that could bring in additional talent. Bonnell doesn’t see Monk as a key piece for the Hornets‘ future in the way Devonte’ Graham and PJ Washington are.
  • Despite a weak Eastern Conference, the Hornets are unlikely to make any moves with the playoffs in mind, Bonnell adds in the same piece. Charlotte could look to trade one of their players on expiring deals, though the team would be looking for draft picks or younger players with upside in any such trade.

Hornets To Pursue Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond is expected to be one of the best available players in a weak 2020 free agent class and the Pistons will have competition for his services. Sean Deveney of hears that the Hornets will pursue the big man this offseason.

Charlotte has had interest in Drummond for over a year and the franchise is expected to have significant cap space this summer for the first time in years. Bismack Biyombo ($17MM), Marvin Williams ($15MM), and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($13MM) will all see their deals expire, setting the Hornets up for a chance to add new talent in free agency.

“He’ll be a priority there,” one league executive told Deveney. “It’s just a matter of whether they make him a priority now and give up something to get him or try to make the move later. It’s a very cautious group, Mitch Kupchak and those guys. But they might want to get this guy into the fold sooner rather than later, there’s just a lot of incentive there on both sides.”

The Hornets have interest in securing Drummond via trade before this year’s deadline, though the Pistons have shown no indication that they are willing to move the center. However, Detroit has had talks with other teams about the big man in previous years and a rough start to the season has to make the franchise take a hard look in the mirror.

An offer for Drummond likely would not include one of their young, promising players (Devonte’ Graham, Miles Bridges, Malik Monk, or PJ Washington), though Deveney writes that if Charlotte includes one of the group, it’s likely to be Monk. The Hornets can keep all of those players if it waits until free agent to pursue the big man, though there are advantages to acquiring Drummond sooner, such as acquiring the center’s Bird Rights and having him on the roster to help the Hornets (6-9 as of this writing) make a playoff push in the Eastern Conference.

Knicks Notes: Rozier, Monk, Porzingis, Anthony

Terry Rozier made his first trip of the season tonight to Madison Square Garden, which he thought this summer might be his home arena, relays Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Knicks pursued the former Celtic in free agency, but declined to match the best offer from the Hornets, who paid him $58MM over three years.

“It was probably one of my first options,’’ Rozier said of going to New York. “I probably was going to make it happen. Other things happened and I ended up going to Charlotte. It was the interest they showed in me, that was big. The organization believed in me, why not.’’

The Knicks wound up signing a short-term deal with Elfrid Payton, who missed his ninth straight game tonight with a strained hamstring. Rozier, who is averaging 17.0 points and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 38.4% beyond the arc, could have brought some stability to the team’s point guard situation.

“I didn’t know how crazy it gets once that free agency starts,’’ he said. “[The Knicks] were one of the teams I was active with. It was hard to sleep. I was getting phone calls with my agent so much.’’

There’s more from New York:

  • Another Hornets guard who expected to be a Knick is Malik Monk, who believed New York was going to draft him two years ago before the team opted for Frank Ntilikina, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Monk worked out for former team president Phil Jackson shortly before the draft and had dinner with several Knicks representatives. “Me, my agent, everybody in my agency, my family — we thought we were going to New York,” Monk said. “It was here, my agent is here (based in New York), a great agent, everybody thought it was going to be here. Went to dinner with (Jackson), had a great workout, everything was positive.”
  • Kristaps Porzingis was loudly booed during his return to the Garden this week, but Carmelo Anthony remains a beloved figure even though they both wanted to leave town, notes Frank Isola of The Athletic. They are viewed differently, Isola observes, because the Knicks were starting to rebuild when they unloaded Anthony and had nothing to gain by trying to convince fans that the breakup was his fault.
  • Coach David Fizdale believes past failures and the desires of the New York crowd for a winner are affecting his team, states Colin Martin of “I really felt like this team is just trying to do so well for the city,” Fizdale said. “… Their intentions are right. They’re trying to carry the weight of the city on their shoulders. I just told them you can’t do that. I said it’s an impossible task. You’ve got to focus on who’s around you in the locker room and put forth effort for the people in the locker room and the city will appreciate that kind of effort.”

Hornets Notes: Graham, Monk, Hernangomez, Washington

Devonte’ Graham is outplaying free agent addition Terry Rozier through the first two games, but the Hornets‘ best option might be to use them together, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Graham, a second-year guard, is Charlotte’s leading scorer at 23.5 PPG while sinking 12-of-16 shots from beyond the arc. He’s also handing out three assists for every turnover.

The Hornets gave Rozier $58MM over three seasons this summer, so they don’t plan to take him out of the starting lineup. While Graham will likely remain a reserve, coach James Borrego expects to utilize them together in a smaller backcourt, especially while Nicolas Batum is sidelined with a broken finger. He took a similar approach last season, frequently closing games with Kemba Walker and Tony Parker on the floor.

“We can play them together,” Borrego said. “We can play Terry off the ball some with Te’ out there. We’ll look at that lineup.”

There’s more from Charlotte:

  • Even though Malik Monk has been disappointing, the Hornets had to pick up his fourth-year option to preserve his trade value, Bonnell writes in a mailbag column. A lottery pick in 2017, Monk hasn’t developed  the way the Hornets had hoped. He’s shooting 37.6% from the field for his career and is averaging just 3.5 PPG so far this season. Still, a $5.3MM commitment for next season shouldn’t be significant, as general manager Mitch Kupchak has said the team won’t be aggressive in the 2020 free agent market.
  • Large salaries will make Bismack Biyombo and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist difficult to trade this season, but there might be demand for Willy Hernangomez, Bonnell notes in the same piece. The fourth-year center has a minimal expiring salary of $1.68MM, and Bonnell believes the Hornets would part with him for a second-round pick. He adds that there may be more value in letting Biyombo’s $17MM contract and Kidd-Gilchrist’s $13MM deal expire to open cap room for the future.
  • PJ Washington is looking like the draft gem the Hornets needed to give them hope for the future, notes Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation.

Hornets Exercise 2020/21 Options On Monk, Bridges

The Hornets have picked up their rookie scale team options for 2020/21 on guard Malik Monk and forward Miles Bridges, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. It’s Monk’s fourth-year option and Bridges’ third-year option.

[RELATED: Decisions On 2020/21 Rookie Scale Team Options]

Monk, the 11th overall pick in the 2017 draft, has yet to have the same kind of success at the NBA level that he did at Kentucky, averaging just 7.9 PPG on .377/.336/.871 shooting in 137 career games. He’s still just 21 years old though, and his 2020/21 option of $5,345,687 isn’t a major investment for the rebuilding Hornets. Monk will be eligible for a rookie scale extension 2020 and would be a restricted free agent in 2021 without a new deal.

Bridges, 21, was the 12th overall pick in the 2018 draft. In his rookie season, he averaged 7.5 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 80 games (21.2 MPG). He’ll likely play a key role for the team this season and is now locked in for $3,934,320 in 2020/21. The Hornets will have to make a decision on his 2021/22 team option by October 31, 2020.

Even with Monk and Bridges now on guaranteed salaries for ’20/21, the Hornets should be one of the few teams with a decent chunk of cap room available next summer. Currently, the club has approximately $76.3MM in guarantees on its books for next year, counting Nicolas Batum‘s $27MM+ player option.

Southeast Notes: Parker, Collins, Wizards, Clifford

Hawks power forward John Collins continues to show progress from mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle, according to a team press release, but it’s still uncertain when he’ll make his season debut. The 2017 first-round selection has progressed to modified on-court drills and shooting routines with the goal of integrating him into modified team practice this week. Collins averaged 10.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG in his rookie year.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Tony Parker and Malik Monk head the list of pleasant surprises for the Hornets this season, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines. Parker has stabilized the second unit and Bonnell notes that the veteran point guard averaged 19.9 points and 9.2 assists per 100 possessions last season for the Spurs but is posting 28.2 points and 13.3 assists per 100 possessions in his first 10 games with Charlotte. Monk, a second-year shooting guard, is the team’s second-leading scorer (13.4 PPG) despite also coming off the bench.
  • Wizards coach Scott Brooks shortened his rotation in a victory over the Knicks on Sunday, as Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington points out. Ian Mahinmi was the odd man out even though the Knicks kept a traditional center on the court throughout the game. With Dwight Howard back in action and starting at center, Brooks used forward Markieff Morris at the five spot to make the second unit more mobile.
  • The Magic have gotten off to another slow start but first-year coach Steve Clifford is keeping the team’s spirits up with stories of how other teams he’s coached have gone through similar stretches, John Denton of the team’s website writes. “He was telling us that in his first year in Charlotte they were under (eight) games from .500, but they stuck together, kept fighting, made the playoffs and was a top-10 defensive team,’’ Magic swingman Evan Fournier said. “When a guy like that has seen it all, it gives you confidence and belief.”

Hornets Pick Up Malik Monk’s 2019/20 Option

The Hornets have formally exercised Malik Monk‘s third-year option for the 2019/20 campaign, the team announced today in a press release. The move, which was expected, guarantees Monk’s $4,028,400 cap hit for next season.

Monk, 20, joined the Hornets last year as the 11th overall pick in the 2017 draft. The former Kentucky standout averaged just 6.7 PPG on .360/.342/.842 shooting in 63 games as a rookie, but has seen an increased role in the early going this season. While Monk’s shooting percentages so far have been about the same as last year’s, he has bumped his scoring average to 11.0 PPG through six contests.

The Hornets’ next contract decision on Monk will be due a year from now, when the team will either exercise or decline his fourth-year option for 2020/21. Assuming that option is picked up, the young guard will become extension-eligible during the summer of 2020, and would be eligible for restricted free agency in 2021.

The full list of 2019/20 rookie scale option decisions can be found right here.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Morris, Whiteside, Parker

The Hawks have provided some detail regarding some of the injuries that have been plaguing their roster to begin the 2018/19 season.

Swingman Justin Anderson, who was traded to the Hawks from the Sixers back in July, is still rehabilitating from a pre-trade surgery to address recurring tibial stress syndrome in his left leg. There is still no timetable for his return.

Big man John Collins, who may expect to have a breakout sophomore campaign in 2018/19, is also still rehabilitating from mild inflammation and soreness in his left ankle. He is still out, but his return is clearer. His rehab will be reviewed in eleven days with an update from the Hawks to follow.

Fellow big man Dewayne Dedmon is returning after participating in his first full live practice with the team yesterday. He was re-assessed today and is playing for the Hawks in their game against Dallas this evening.

Finally, Hawks swingman Daniel Hamilton has returned to modified practice following rehab for a tear in his right rotator cuff. There is no timetable for his return to game action.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

Southeast Notes: Dedmon, Anderson, Wade, Pope, Hornets

Center Dewayne Dedmon and swingman Justin Anderson will not be cleared for Hawks training camp, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweets. Dedmon suffered an avulsion fracture in his left ankle earlier this month and shed his walking boot last week. Dedmon, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, will be reevaluated next week, Vivlamore continues.  Anderson had surgery June 29th on his left leg due to recurring tibial stress syndrome. Anderson, who was acquired from the Sixers in a three-team deal in July, will be re-evaluated in two weeks, Vivlamore adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division: