After one year at Kentucky where he dropped 30+ points 4 times, Malik Monk looks like he will be a top 10 pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Monk has the potential to be one of (if not) the best from this draft class due to his dynamic scoring ability, but his size/frame and decision making could make him one of the biggest busts in the draft.
Monk is a freakish athlete. He’s got a very quick first step that allows him to blow by defenders, very quick feet that allow him to play in front of his man, and insane leaping ability to get high above the rim. Although Monk is average at handling the ball, his athleticism allows him to get open off the ball through screens, handoffs, and pick and rolls. His first step allows him to be good in Isolation, and his lateral quickness added on to his average defensive skill can help his defending with his horrible frame, but with time he can turn into an elite defender.
Monk is a lethal shooter. Not only does his athleticism help get him to the rim, but it also allows him to get clean looks from mid-range and behind the arc. Monk shot close to 40% percent from three and 50% from two. He’s a confident shooter who is not afraid to shoot. He made 3.2 threes per 40 minutes.
Monk is NBA ready with huge upside. With 4 30+ point performances against UNC (47), Ole Miss (34), Georgia (37), and Florida (33), Monk has established that he’s a dynamic scorer with big-time performances against great NCAA teams. Monk’s all-around offensive game could really benefit some teams who need a scorer, as he averaged 19.8 points per game this season.
Monk is severely undersized at the Shooting Guard position only being 6’3″, and his short 6’6″ wingspan can hurt on both offense and defense. His size/wingspan issue hurts his finishing ability, and also hurt him grabbing rebounds and poking steals on defense. Monk’s ball handling isn’t good enough to play Point Guard, and his short arms and his rather-thin 197-pound frame causes concern all-around. If Monk can put on a few pounds, his situation would be better, but being undersized has the potential to harm Monk’s NBA career.
Monk’s decision making is alarming. He averaged almost 2 turnovers a game, and with better defenders in the NBA, that could easily be more. Sometimes Monk tries to do too much and sometimes doesn’t understand his role. His decision making makes him inefficient even with his high shooting percentages. If Monk starts to understand his role, his efficiency can be improved, but that’s certainly a concern going into the draft.
Where He Goes on Draft Night-
Monk was considered a possibility for the 76ers at #3 before they traded the pick, but he’s going to suffer from Philly trading the pick. The Kings at #5 is intriguing, because paired with Buddy Hield, they could create a great backcourt to add on to the potential of the Kings’ bigs. I expect Monk to go to New York at #8, for I think Frank Ntilikina will be gone by then, so Monk would be a great complementary piece to Derrick Rose, Kristaps Porzingis, and Carmelo Anthony. Monk would help take the load off Carmelo Anthony’s back as being the primary scorer and has the potential to turn into the next star of New York.