Kentucky Wildcats shooting guard Malik Monk will take his talents to the Charlotte Hornets, who selected Monk with the No. 11 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Monk is just the latest Kentucky product to be selected in the NBA Draft, joining teammate De’Aaron Fox (who was selected by the Sacramento Kings at No. 5) as the Wildcats’ 14th and 15th lottery selections in the Calipari era. In total, a staggering 29 Wildcats have been drafted in Calipari’s eight seasons in Lexington.
In Monk’s lone season at Kentucky, he was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and was also a First Team All-SEC selection. His 19.8 points per game were second in the conference behind Sindarius Thornwell, while shooting 39.7 percent from three-point range and 82.2 percent at the foul line.
Monk might be the best pure shooter available in this year’s draft, but the questions surrounding his game are largely on the defensive end. At 6’3”, he’s on the small side for an NBA shooting guard, and he might struggle to handle bigger guards in the league. That said, his shooting ability is good enough that in the worst-case scenario, he’ll have a long career as a JJ Redick-type role player.
That’s something the Hornets could probably use: the Hornets’ 35.1 percent three-point shooting last year ranked 18th in the league, and Monk should make a fine backcourt mate for Kemba Walker in Charlotte. Still, Monk will have to fight Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, and Jeremy Lamb to earn playing time in Charlotte, but he brings a skill set that the Hornets really don’t have at that spot.