The Charlotte Hornets decline to offer guard Malik Monk a qualifying offer on Sunday, making the fourth-year guard an unrestricted free agent. The move, along with moves during the draft, suggests that the team is moving away from the former lottery pick.
The Hornets, needing a shooting guard and scoring, selected Monk 11th overall in the 2017 NBA draft, passing over eventual all-stars Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo.
Monk, who has been improving every season, is just another name in a long list of bad lottery picks by the franchise dating back almost 2 decades. The Hornets, or Bobcats at one point, have been a frequent participant in the NBA draft lottery and have a plethora of top 15 draft picks, but have yet to find a franchise player.
Despite being a top 15 pick, Monk has not been able to find his way into the Hornets starting lineup and has started just 1 game in his career. of the 2017 first-round draft picks, only Tyler Lydon and Anžejs Pasečņiks have started fewer games than Monk. He has struggled to get consistent minutes as well, averaging around 20 minutes a game for the Hornets
Monk was suspended for part of the 2021 season for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy. This may play a factor in his NBA future as teams will be cautious with him.
The Hornets also issued a qualifying offer to 2018 second-round pick Devonte’ Graham, in a clear sign that the team is done with Monk.
There will be some interest in Monk around the league. He is still a decent young player that a team will take a flyer on. It is reported that Indiana, Philadelphia, Miami, Milwaukee, Utah, the Clippers, and Golden State all have interest in Monk.