Malik Monk

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 SNY.tv. “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:

Malik Monk Injures Thumb

JULY 10: Per an official announcement from the team, a further evaluation of Monk’s medical imaging by Hornets’ team physicians has uncovered that Monk’s right thumb is not fractured. Accordingly, Monk’s status will now be listed as day-to-day.

JULY 7: Hornets guard Malik Monk fractured his right thumb in Friday’s summer league game and will be sidelined six to eight weeks, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Monk suffered the injury late in a victory over the Thunder and was in street clothes at today’s practice (Twitter link).

It’s a frustrating end to summer league action for Monk, who put on a show with 15 points in the first quarter of Friday’s game. He had to sit out the 2017 summer league because of an ankle injury that bothered him for most of the offseason and may have contributed to his slow start in the NBA. The 11th pick in the 2017 draft, Monk appeared in 63 games during his first season, averaging 6.7 points per night and shooting just 36% from the field.

Even if his recovery takes the full eight weeks, Monk should be ready for the start of training camp in late September.

Hornets Notes: Monk, Staff, Bacon, Parker

After undertaking a limited and somewhat disappointing role last season as a rookie, second-year guard Malik Monk has been told by the Hornets’ new coaching staff that he needs to make quicker, more decisive choices with the ball in order to maximize his talent and athleticism, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

Monk, 20, was selected 11th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft before suffering an ankle sprain that cost him summer league work before his first NBA training camp. Due in part to that lack of experience, Monk was in and out of the Hornets’ rotation all season long, finishing with an average of 6.7 points per game on 36 percent shooting from the field.

But despite whatever troubles he may have experienced during his rookie season, Monk will have plenty of opportunity to step into a bigger role this season, per head coach James Borrego.

“Malik Monk is a major player for us next (season)… I knew he was a shooter but being up close to him is impressive. This guy has a chance to be an elite shooter, a very consistent shooter. Someone we can play through for different stretches of a game.”

As for how Monk feels about Borrego and the new coaching staff, the good feelings seem to be mutual, with Monk saying, “I love them. They’re opening up the court for me and giving me a chance. That’s what I’ve been looking for.”

There’s more out of Charlotte this evening:

  • Speaking of the new coaching staff, the Hornets have officially hired Jay Triano, Chad Iske, Jay Hernandez, Ronald Nored, and Dutch Gaitley as assistant coaches under Borrego, per an official press release from the team.
  • Another young player the Hornets believe in is second-year player Dwayne Bacon, Bonnell notes in another piece. The new staff believes that Bacon, the 40th overall selection in last year’s draft, is both talented offensively and versatile defensively and that he will benefit from an increased pace of play.
  • As we relayed yesterday, the Hornets may be in the market for another guard to play alongside Monk and All-Star Kemba Walker, with free agent guard Tony Parker no longer necessarily a lock to return to San Antonio.

Hornets Notes: Monk, FA Targets, Coaching Staff

A disappointing 2017/18 put the Hornets in an awkward position, staffed with enough talent to compete for one of the East’s final playoff spots, yet financially compelled to blow things up and start fresh. This season stands to be different. In a recent interview with Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, newly appointed head coach James Borrego discusses his vision for the club heading forward.

The biggest change heading into 2018/19 is Borrego’s willingness to incorporate 2017 pick Malik Monk heavily in the team’s rotation. Whereas previous head coach Steve Clifford opted to play veterans over youth, Borrego sees Monk as “major player for the team” with the potential to be an elite shooter.

Borrego also notes that it’s a priority of the Hornets to add a ballhandler that can serve as the primary backup point guard to Kemba Walker.

There’s more out of Charlotte tonight: