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Malik Monk is a freshly 21-year-old guard who the Charlotte Hornets selected 11th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. He’s still the second-youngest player on the Hornets, despite there being four rookies on the roster. You’d think Charlotte would want him to develop, considering all of those things.
The Hornets clearly do, but neither Steve Clifford nor James Borrego has afforded Monk much opportunity to do, well, anything. In 123 games with Charlotte, Monk is averaging just 15.5 minutes played per game. He has never started a game for the Hornets, and he’s only played 30 minutes once in his career.
Even if Monk hasn’t shown much in his career thus far, it’s inexcusable that he has never really gotten an extended opportunity to play. That’s how young players learn. Collin Sexton was bad to start his rookie season in Cleveland, and now he’s starting to win over critics with his strong play of late.
That’s possible because the Cavaliers let Sexton play. He averages 30.9 minutes per game this year and has started 59 contests for the Cavaliers. Cleveland had nothing at stake this season, sure, but did anybody really think the Hornets were close enough to winning anything of substance that letting Malik Monk play would cost them? The answer is no.
If Charlotte wants to get anything out of Monk before it’s time to pay him a whole lot of money, the Hornets will have to let him play. He will make mistakes — that’s what young players do. They also get better. Monk hasn’t had a real opportunity to do either yet, which is a shame.
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