2020-21 Charlotte Hornets Player Review: Malik Monk

After three up-and-down seasons, Malik Monk finally realized the potential that made him a lottery pick in his fourth year in the league and burst out in a big way. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows as Monk had to earn his way back into the rotation early on the season, but once there, he was incredible.

Highlighted by some brilliant performances against the Heatincluding 36 points and nine 3-pointers in an overtime win in February – Monk had both his best scoring season and his most efficient year.

All that made his injury late in the season all the more frustrating. He never fully got his feet under him upon his return late in the year and his season ended with a fizzle, even if it had a lot of pop in the middle.

Stat of the Season


It’s hard to encapsulate Monk’s improvement this year in one stat, but the closest way to do it would be his effective field goal percentage. After not clearing the 50% threshold in each his first three seasons, Monk had by far his best shooting season this year, led by shooting 40.1% from the 3-point line.

Notable Quote From Exit Interview

On if he’s open to a return to Charlotte…

“If they want me here, I’d love to be here and do the things that I know I can do. But like I said, I just want to be wanted and that’s about it. I want to feel wanted.”


By his own admission, Monk did not come into the year in the right mindset and was not a part of the rotation to begin the year. Part of it was due to having COVID-19 during the preseason, part of it was a mental battle for Monk.

To his credit, he stayed engaged by mentoring LaMelo Ball from the sideline so that when his time came, he hit the ground running. Four games after entering the rotation for good this season, Monk exploded in Miami to help the Hornets to a massive win.

From the moment he entered the rotation until he twisted his ankle against Brooklyn, Monk shot 42.4% from the 3-point line, averaged 14.5 points and had a team-best net rating of plus-4.5.

Unfortunately, the badly twisted ankle that kept him out for a month came at a terrible time. Upon his return, he never got the groove back and sputtered into the end of the season.


Monk now heads into an interesting restricted free agency. While he did have a breakout year, it was ultimately a strong 28-game stretch in the middle of a sample size spanning four seasons.

Do the Hornets or another team feel like those 28 games were a turning of the corner or simply a hot shooting stretch? It certainly seems like it was the former as he played with a confidence and IQ that he hadn’t in years prior.

Charlotte also has to determine which of its two guards entering restricted free agency it would like to bring back as both Monk and Devonte’ Graham are likely not returning to the Hornets next season.