2020-21 Season Preview: PJ Washington

After an extremely promising display in his rookie season with Charlotte, the expectations for PJ Washington going into his 2nd year are very high. With an increased role and the addition of elite playmakers on the roster, Washington should be primed to continue his development in a positive direction this season with the Hornets.

Last season PJ did just about everything well enough to convince us that he was an excellent draft pick who could do just about everything and fit the bill of modern day power forward. Shooting 46% from the field, 37.5% from three, 18th and 8th among rookies respectively. Not only did PJ display the ability to shoot effectively, but he showcased an arsenal of ways to put the ball in the hoop. Just simply watch the below video to see with your own two eyes.

The best part about is that he did so efficiently and with consistency. Ultimately he was robbed from the 1st team all rookie team. They put Eric Paschall on there instead of PJ, I mean cmon.

While Washington proved to be an effective player on the offensive end of the ball, on the defensive end he became a solid player as well. While he’s not the greatest interior defender or rim protector he can get the job done in a stint. His defensive ability has many believing (wishing rather) that we’ll be seeing a lot more small ball this season with Washington at the 5. If this tactic works that would be huge for a young team like the Hornets who like to get up and down the court with a sense of urgency.

So far this season we’ve had a roller coaster of a season from Washington that have had many concerned and calling for him to benched. On bot ends of the ball he was not up to standard and looking flat out lost on the defensive end.

The start of this season was a whole lot of that and instead of a whole lot of this.

We’re only three games in now so whoever was calling for PJ’s job was sort of jumping the gun with that, but I can understand the concern. The PJ Washington we saw in preseason and in the season opener against Cleveland was not the same Washington we saw last season or in the past couple games for that matter. However after the past two games against OKC and Brooklyn it looks like we’ve got our PJ back.

This season I’m looking for Washington to just continue his development in the path that it’s going. The team is going to ask a lot from him, he’s going to be looked at to do just about everything on the court, shoot, distribute, anchor a defense, rebound, small ball 5, and if he’s able to step up to plate and seize the opportunity then what we already know will be written in stone. He’ll be a good. maybe great player in this league for a very long time.

2020-21 Player Preview: Miles Bridges

When it comes to most young players, the fans of their team are usually more inclined to have a higher view of him that the rest of the league at large – displayed in drastically uneven NBA Trade Machine proposals and references to impressive yet innocuous performances on random nights in January.

However when it comes to Miles Bridges, the sides of the debate are actually reversed. Though the rest of the league remembers the All-Star Rising Stars MVP performance and the ferocious dunks he gives on a weekly basis, Charlotte fans are more likely to have a critical, sometimes cynical opinion of Miles as he comes into his 3rd year as a pro.

A lot of these criticisms of his game are fair, Bridges has even said as much himself, and it’s that character and ability to be his own biggest critic that influences many (most notably those around him) to believe that down the road he’ll be able to get it corrected.

The main problem for him to overcome is heightened given it’s importance in his role, that is his ability to shoot the ball. He is 33% on 3 point shooting for his career so far, which though already not ideal gets even more worrying when you dive deeper into his splits.

To be taking the most catch and shoot 3’s on the team and making them at such a low clip? A less than ideal situation, but one that will have to improve for Bridges to keep clocking big minutes for this team – especially given the number of initiators now on the team who’ll need to rely on him to get these shots to fall.

Whilst Bridges’ minutes will naturally go down due to his new role coming off the bench, making way for newly acquired Gordon Hayward to enter the starting lineup, the hope is that it could end up being the making of him.

His connection with new star LaMelo Ball was clear over the pre-season, and indicated that playing next to a guard with his style handling the ball may be more conducive for success for Miles going forward.

Defensively, the hope is that we’ll see less of the mental lapses that have caused issues over the last couple of seasons. It’s clear that Bridges has the build and makeup of a strong defensive player, but now the onus will be on him to start going out there and proving it as he grows more experienced as a player. Now that coach James Borrego has other strong defensive options at the forward positions with Gordon Hayward, PJ Washington and the Martin twins – the big question will be if Bridges can prove himself as someone you can play in those important crunch minutes, rather than a liability who the opposition will pick out to attack.

With a big summer coming up in 2021 as he becomes eligible for big money, this 3rd season will be huge in determining whether the former 12th Overall Pick is someone GM Mitch Kupchak will want to have in his long term plans. The issues he needs to correct are laid out, and with his attitude and will to succeed as outlined earlier, I wouldn’t want to bet against him getting it fixed and developing into a strong player for the team. He’s one of the easiest players to root for on our team, and I’ll be cheering for him hard this season.

2020-21 Player Preview: Gordon Hayward

Charlotte has been building up a lot of good grace with basketball heads and media figures alike over the past season or so. They’ve been able to boast an impressive young core of lottery picks, 2nd rounders and undrafted guys led by James Borrego, who has done one of the leagues more underrated coaching jobs since taking the helm in 2018. The LaMelo Ball pick, though maligned by some, was a calculated shot at a high upside player who many smart analysts believe to be the best player of his class – a skilled initiator with great size who projects very well to the direction the NBA is currently headed.

Ultimately, there was too much good grace being afforded to the team – not to say it wasn’t deserved, it just didn’t feel like the Charlotte we’d grown to know…

In many ways, Gordon Hayward is about as ‘Charlotte Hornets’ as it gets from a free agency signing. A perceived overpay for a player who is in a battle with his own body to reclaim some of his prime years due to a combination of frustrating and catastrophic injuries. Whilst the signing gave everyone a chance to criticize Michael Jordan’s ownership and have another big laugh at Charlotte fans, there’s more than enough reason to have belief that this signing can be a success for the team in the short term at the very least.

Short memories are a problem in most sports, and basketball is not exempt – so it has been easy for many to forget that the health of Gordon Hayward was discussed by many as the X-Factor of the Eastern Conference we watched a mere 3 months ago.

Boston found themselves 0-2 down in the series by the time Hayward was able to return, and though likely still compromised by injury he was able to contribute effectively as a 6th man as the teams split the next 4 games 2-2. Though not enough to stop Miami making it through to the finals, it was clear he made his presence felt.

His performance in Game 3 gave a little bit of everything you’d want to see out of a star wing player, including a particularly relevant quote from former coach and current commentator Jeff Van Gundy.

“Thats why they pay him 30 Million Dollars a year, it’s cos he’s good”

Ultimately, it’s that ‘little bit of everything’ that Hayward will have to provide for this to work out for Charlotte, and he’s more than capable of filling almost every need the team would’ve had down going into last off-season. Perimeter shooting, perimeter defense and a wing player who can initiate but also play efficiently… Hayward fits the bill.

For the 2020-2021 Season, it feels very safe to say that Hayward will be the best player on the team, which begs the question of whether he’ll be able to carry the demands this role will bring. He will have a lot of responsibility handling the ball, will almost definitely take the most shots on the team and will be asked to do a good share of work on the defensive end as well, likely clocking around 35 minutes a night – a return to the role he was assigned in his last season in Utah, the version of him the team is hoping they see this season

Will he be able to get back to that form? If the last 2 seasons are anything to go by, he still has the ability – but it’ll be as much about the durability that will determine whether his season is a success. When he’s out there, I have no doubts you’ll be able to pencil him in for a 25-5-5 with strong defensive contribution, something this young team will be so so dependent on.

And that for me, is as important as any other part of Hayward’s play this season. For as much as we’ll need him to play well for both the benefit of himself and the team, it is the way this will help the younger guys on the roster that will be instrumental for this team getting better going forward.

We’ll need him to take some of the initiating burden off of LaMelo, we’ll need him to provide spacing to see if Malik Monk’s career can be salvageable in Charlotte, we’ll need his defensive ability to see if Miles Bridges can hold up more effectively in big crunch situations.

It may seem like a lot, but Hayward wouldn’t have taken on the challenge if he didn’t feel he was up to it, and I for one won’t be betting against him having an All-Star level season in his 1st year in Charlotte.

2020-21 Player Preview: Cody Martin

To the surprise of many, Cody Martin rookie’s season went a lot better than many anticipated during last year for the Hornets. His defensive and playmaking instincts helped Charlotte overcome a lot of difficulties in his 49 appearances. Mitch Kupchak really believed in him and decided to spend the 36th pick of 2019 Draft for the former Nevada WolfPack player even if younger players who were thought could be of more value were still available.

James Borrego really believes in his play style and during preseason he used Cody Martin continuously from the bench. When Gordon Hayward injured his finger after the first two meetings with Toronto, JB promoted Martin as a starter to fill the role. It’s not wrong to consider him one of the first bench pieces of this team.

Martin fought for this, his play time was limited when the 2019 season began and he also made several appearances with the Greensboro Swarm. Hustle, defense and high IQ secured him a stable role in the Hornets rotations. For a young and scrappy team, a player like Cody Martin is really helpful because he can bring instant defense and playmaking without any kind of effort. The amount of possession he turned into our favor with his defensive position are countless.

The greatest problem with his game is three point shooting. During last year he was reluctant to shoot the ball from long range and this really hurt spacing while he was on the court. That is the reason why Borrego preferred to use him as a ball handler with good shooters around him. This is the key part of his game in order to succeed in the 2020-21 season.

Martin needs to shoot with consistency and confidence if he wants to keep his role in the rotations, especially with Ball and other ball handlers ready to eat his minutes from the bench. His shooting stroke looks good and the mechanics are clean, it is much more a mental problem than a technical one.

Despite this struggle he was able to display a good ability to cut and understand opponents defense. Add to this a good propensity with passing and that is a player that could not hurt an NBA offense in the best case scenario.

Martin is already 25 and that is the reason why he was so effective during his first year in the league. In his sophomore season it is likely he has the same effectiveness both defensively and offensively.

Haywards presence could really help his development as well. They are similar players despite the effectively savvy offensive skillset that Gordon has. Being near a good player like him could just make him better.

Borrego will keep on using him from the bench and is ready to unlock him as a starter if Gordon Hayward miss some games during the 72 game stretch. The hope is that Cody Martin can keep on bringing balance to every Charlotte lineup, playing with great effort and IQ. As we said, if he shoots better he is going to be great and could really helps the team win some more games.

2020-21 Player Preview: Terry Rozier

When Terry Rozier was brought over to Charlotte in the sign-and-trade deal last season involving Kemba Walker, I won’t lie, I was salty about it. I didn’t like it at all, especially the contract, and as the season went on I was never truly impressed with what Rozier brought to the table. This season however is a completely different case. At the time of writing this though it’s only been preseason (EDIT: 42 points in the first game LOL), Rozier’s approach to this season has me believing that we have a confident player who’s ready to show that he can be a pivotal piece on a good team.

Rozier’s catch and shoot ability has really jumped off the page to me so far this season, he’s got good shot selection and is making difficult shots. He’s also doing so with extremely high confidence. Last season he shot a personal best 40.7% from three on about 7 attempts per game. During the preseasons 4 games he went 12/22 from behind the arc, thats 54.5% and it looks wonderful. He’s looking like he can score from every level.

Transition 3s.


Middy pull-ups.

Tougher middy pull-ups.

Impressive reverse finishes around the defense.

Rozier is doing it all so far this season, and you just have to love it. You have to wonder what’s in the Hornets gatorade at times with how some of these guys are developing as shooters. We saw it with Kemba Walker, Devonte’ Graham, Caleb Martin’s form has improved, even Miles Bridges has become a capable shooter. Maybe this is nothing because it’s not like these guys were particularly bad shooters in college and maybe we’ve lucked out on development but it is interesting nonetheless.

Especially if you’re a contending team in need of a guy who is specializing in catch and shoot that could provide a scoring spark off of your bench. This piece was published on The Charlotte Observer questioning Hornets fans who think it’s a good move to trade Rozier. Sure those points are valid. Rozier could be seen as a veteran mentor to our young guys and losing him could stifle the development of LaMelo Ball who appears to work well with Rozier.

True points. I’ll look at it from the other side though. Say we wait until the trade deadline which isn’t confirmed yet, but is being targeted as March 25th. At that point in the year what if Ball has found his comfort zone and is creating his own shot and doesn’t need a guy like Rozier on the court to succeed. Wishful thinking, maybe? Charlotte still has Devonte’ Graham who I think can excel even more with more catch and shoot opportunities, and now theres pieces such as Gordon Hayward who we can lean on, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, Jalen McDaniels, Cody and Caleb Martin to a lesser extent all can be competent three point shooters at a lower volume. Maybe you’re grasping at thin air with some of those names but it’s possible. Rozier isn’t unmovable is the point I’m willing to make.

Rozier’s contract is pricey, floating at around $18 million for the next couple of years. If Charlotte sees the development they like from their young guys, and they can move Rozier for an expiring deal, young assets and draft capital I think you just have to do it. On the other hand It may end up being another point guard that gets traded though with Graham being on the final year of his contract. Maybe it makes more sense to just keep Rozier and move Graham, that way you don’t need to bring in a bad expiring deal and you still get a good package in return.

Only Mitch Kupchak knows what will happens, but while he’s on this team I think we can all be excited for what Rozier is bringing to the table this year. He’s passing the eye test, stat test, and he’s wins before the game even starts with his pre-game attire. Consider me a fan.

2020-21 Player Preview: Cody Zeller

This is gonna be the eighth season for Cody Zeller with the Charlotte Hornets. As the guys at the Buzz Beat pod said in one of their latest episode it feels like he has been with this team forever. Maybe it’s the hairline. Every player that was involved in the Kemba Walker era is not with the team right now, aside from Zeller. His presence is going to be be important for the young guys, especially in helping them usher in the new era of the culture of this team.

Zeller recently declared that he talked with Gordon Hayward before his agreement with Charlotte and he played a big role in that decision. His presence is felt with this team, even if he is not the most flashy guy.

As we enter into the 2020-21 season the most talked part of his game is three point shooting. Fans expected some development in this area for some time now, Zeller is slowly improving but he still has a long way to go before he is considered a respected long range shooter. During preseason he appeared a little bit more confident with his range and his stroke has looked better as seasons have gone along.

His offensive skillset and ability to play the pick and roll in different scenarios will give a lot of help to a guy like LaMelo Ball, who needs a consistent screen setter in order to be more consistent. Screen setting is still the best part of his game, and this is a great key for Charlotte as they will be a heavy pick and roll team with very few players that can create something without some kind of help.

Zeller will continue to be a good play finisher for Charlotte, especially around the rim. With athleticism vanishing day by day he will need to work on crafty finishes instead of power plays like he used to have back in the days.

Defensively he will keep on with his role as big part of the 1 through 5 switching scheme as he can handle smaller guys relatively well or even play a little drop in some scenarios.

Zeller’s contract is expiring this year, freeing around $15 million of cap space. This is a good news for Charlotte’s payroll because he is not the best fit with this young group, speaking of timeline and overall age. Front office will have different options with him during this season. First of all they can use his contract as part of some trade as the expiring $15 million is a great asset and he is still capable to contribute even on a good team. If the Hornets are not able to find any trade partner interested in him they could probably cut him at the deadline like they did last year with Marvin Williams or MKG in order to free him up if he wants to join a contender. Last scenario is Charlotte keeping Zeller the whole season and giving him a cheaper contract during the next free agency, exactly like they did with Bismack Biyombo this past summer.

Charlotte selected two centers during the second round of the 2020 draft because they know that the 5 position is missing a young and talented piece to develop with this core of players. The aim of the team could be the same during next summer and draft too, retaining a veteran like Zeller that knows the team could be great for the Hornets. That is my personal hope.

Production and impact by Zeller will be the same for this season as it was during last years. Physical condition will be the key for him; Zeller has not played a full season since his rookie campaign. This season has a really stressful schedule for every team and it will probably means that Zeller is going to miss a good amount of games due to rest or injuries. Expect a good amount of minutes played by Biyombo and, I hope, Vernon Carey Jr.

2020-21 Player Preview: Bismack Biyombo

Is Bismack Biyombo looking a little..different.. this year to anyone else? I mean that in the most positive way possible. The Hornets were in desperate need of some veteran leadership this year and Biyombo was glad to stay. After finally getting through his massive 4 year $72 million deal, Big Bis was brought back to Charlotte for the year on a team friendly, 1 year $3.5 million deal. That contract alone makes me like Biyombo a lot more than I did a year ago.

As Hornets fans we know what Bis is bringing to the table at this point, and honestly, it’s not that much. We’re going to get a guy who most would consider to be undersized for a “center” and isn’t going to anchor your defense with any sort of regularity. However, where he lacks in size, he makes up for in pure athleticism, the reason Charlotte drafted him back in 2011. This doesn’t tend to translate into crazy numbers or really anything satisfying to the eye when watching him play, but he brings the energy every night he steps onto the court.

From the outside looking in it appears he has really taken on this leadership role this season. He’s always been a leader on and off the court but this year in particular it’s really standing out to me. Maybe that’s just because the media team is taking more photos of him with his arm around LaMelo Ball, but either way. That’s something you like to see. This young squad needs that.

Moving into the basketball side of things. This preseason it seems like he may finally be figuring out how to catch the basketball, however, it seems that only seems to be the case when the ball is coming from Ball. So maybe, he hasn’t figured that out, but if you’re going to catch from anyone it might as well be the potential superstar of the team. This Ball-Biyombo duo has actually intrigued me during the preseason. In LaMelo’s player preview, I talked about Ball’s ability to take a quick glance and toss a football pass down court. Biyombo was on the other end of that a couple times, the early chemistry is there. It also seems like when used in a short roll action, Biyombo has been somewhat decent in being able to find open guys, see below.

Ball isn’t the ball handler here, he’s actually the shooter, but you see where this action could have James Borrego more willing to give Biyombo some extra minutes.

He gets the hockey assist above. Again being able to make some magic happen out of the short roll and get that ball to PJ Washington could prove to be very beneficial to the team moving forward. I’d go as far to say if he can do this with any sort of consistency he could find himself in the starting lineup. As I said, It seems he already has some chemistry with Ball and he may be better defensively than Cody Zeller. I don’t say that with actual certainty, but wouldn’t doubt if it is indeed the case.

I wouldn’t expect much change from Biyombo this year. We can only hope he truly learns how to catch the ball and becomes a better finisher around the rim. This short roll development however is very intriguing and something that we should all be keeping our eye on as we head into the season. I think at the very best we could see Biyombo get some starts during the season if Zeller doesn’t perform to standard.

2020-21 Player Preview: Devonte’ Graham

Devonte’ Graham, 6’1, 195 pounds, G

After a slow start as rookie, Devonte’ Graham had an excellent sophomore season and finished fifth in Most Improved voting. Te’ improved in nearly every category across the board this past year:

The big driver of Graham’s impact was his improved three point shooting. Te’ was a great shooter at Kansas so I expected him to be better than the 28.1% that he shot in his rookie year but I really didn’t see him bombing over nine threes a game. He’s a special shooter:

Te’ in transition. Cash.

Stepback Te’. Cash.

Te’ off a handoff. Cash.

Don’t go under on Te’ in pick and roll. Cash.

Every time the ball left his hands, I thought it was going in. Only three players played in at least thirty games, shot over nine threes a game, and made at least 37% of them: Damian Lillard, Buddy Hield, and our own Devonte’ Graham. That’s a special class to be in.

Te’ is also a special passer. He has great vision and has all of the passes in his bag. He excels at the pocket pass and for my money is one of the ten best guys in the league at it. He developed a good connection with PJ Washington on it which bodes well for our future:

As you can see, Te’ is a pretty special shooter outside the arc. Inside the arc, not so much. Te’ shot just under 40% on two pointers this past year. Only 13.2% of his shot attempts come at the rim and he only shot 54.3% there. In the floater range (3-10 feet), he only shot 27.4% from the field. He struggled a lot when teams sold out on his three point shooting and forced him to go inside.

In addition, even as the primary scorer for the Hornets, Graham shot under four free throw attempts a game. These are the areas that Devonte’ has to improve in to take the next step as an offensive player. The biggest area out of those that I can see him improving on is his shooting from floater range. Graham isn’t the biggest guy out there so I don’t see him improving too much at the rim or getting fouled a lot. You have to be a healthy Isaiah Thomas level athlete at that size for you to be really good there. However, a lot of good small guards have that floater in their bag. With his shooting ability, Te’ should be able to easily get into the paint as teams sell out on his shooting. That will allow him to get into floater range pretty frequently. He has to be able to hit those and take advantage.

The other thing I’m looking for is how Te’ works off ball this year with added ball-handlers in LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward. I hope to see his shooting leveraged a lot. He should be able to be really good as a spot-up guy and hopefully, we can even see him take advantage of his shooting gravity off-movement. Te’ was a pretty special player offensively last year and ranked in the top 15 in offensive PIPM per bball index. We can’t trust all in one metrics without context but I think it does give a good gauge of how good offensively he was last year. All of this value came with the ball in his hands though so it’ll be interesting to see how this shifts this year. It’ll be important to watch as we look at the Hornets long term outlook.

Overall though, I expect that Devonte’ will have another good year. Gordon Hayward should make it a lot easier for Te’ and will take a lot of pressure off. The other question in the room is that Devonte’ is entering the final year of his rookie deal. He is restricted so the Hornets will be able to match anything but look for them to get an extension done before it comes to that. He deserves it.

2020-21 Player Preview: Caleb Martin

As we already underlined during the Jalen McDaniels season preview, Caleb Martin will likely be fighting with his former G-League teammate for the 10th spot in this years rotation. The motivation that can lead Borrego to choose the twin are really different from the ones we pointed out for McDaniels.

Caleb spent large part of 2019-20 season with the Greensboro Swarm, his main area of focus was that he needed to work on his shooting. Coming out from Nevada he had a very bad looking shot even if it was quite effective as he was considered a very capable scorer. With time and reps Martin tried to reach a much more sustainable motion for the NBA but the work is not finished, it will be necessary to prove his new motion can equate to an efficient shot during a real NBA season.

As is pretty obvious to say, three point shooting is the key for him to survive at this level and he needs to be comfortable with a fluid and effective shot. During last year final games of the shortened season, he produced some quite high three point percentages. Even if the sample is not very high that was a good sign for his NBA projection. In this preseason he was looking comfortable in a catch and shoot role.

Caleb, like his twin brother Cody, is capable of bringing instant energy when coming off the bench. He is more offensive minded than Cody and this could be really helpful for the Hornets during the stretch, especially in nights were the primary players aren’t performing well on the offensive side of the ball. Beyond three point shooting he has some handling ability that allows him to give some secondary creation and rim pressure with his athletic drives.

His good frame and length also allows him to be effective on the defensive end, especially because he’s able to consistently produce a high energy effort level. Caleb and his brother could really be considered the two best POA defenders on this roster right now, and that says a lot about the other members of the roster.

If he finds a good rhythm during the year he could be a perfect bench piece for the Hornets because of the offensive and defensive mix he can bring as soon as he steps onto the court. Age is probably the deciding factor here, Caleb is already 25 and for a rebuilding team like Charlotte it is probably better to bet on a younger player like McDaniels.

The fight between the two will surely be one to watch as both players produce a fun yet competitive style of basketball. Keep in mind that because of covid and a really hectic schedule James Borrego could make rotation less tight in order to avoid injuries and overload for the core players.

2020-21 Player Preview: Malik Monk

Malik Monk, 6’3, 200 pounds, G

Malik Monk showed some signs of life last year and improved his scoring from below the arc. He shot a career high on 2s last year (54.2%) which was up from 46.1% the year before. Monk was really good this past year at finishing at the rim and shooting from midrange. From zero to three feet, Monk shot a career high 67.1%. He also was getting there more last year with 28.7% of his shots coming in that range. He was truly incredible at the rim despite his size:

Monk was said to have added strength last year and while he doesn’t look particularly bigger to the eye, he was able to use this added strength to finish against bigs like the play above.

Here Monk showcases his burst and body control, blowing by the defender and shifting in the air to make the sweet finish.

Monk uses the stop and start dribble to get to the rim and finish.

Monk always had the athleticism to make plays like this. He’s a good cutter and has some utility as a vertical spacer with plays like these.

Monk’s blend of burst, jumping ability, and body control allows him to be a really good finisher at the rim for his size. In addition, he was able to shoot over 40% from shots in the midrange and showed his scoring prowess. Monk projected as a three level scorer in the league and he seems to have the first two levels down. However, the three point shot has failed him so far in the league.

As I talked about in last year’s player preview, the three point shot is the big factor for him. Monk was an excellent shooter at Kentucky so it seemed like a sure bet that it would translate. It still hasn’t. It got even worse last year as he shot a career low 28.4% from three. The three point shooting is the money maker for Monk. Defenses still treat him like a shooter which is good but at some point, he has to start cashing in. It’s year four. If Monk can get to being an above average three point shooter, he can be a true three level scorer and wreak havoc on bench units.

With added three point shooting, Monk’s improved playmaking will shine more and he can become the complete offensive player that we expected him to be. Monk’s feel on defense is pretty good but he’s too small to be a positive on that end aside from a steal or block every now and then. He has to be a big positive on the offensive end to be good in this league and he is almost there. The outline of a good offensive player is there. With good three point shooting, Monk will be able to be a good spot up threat and also leverage his athleticism by attacking closeouts. Because the Hornets have a lot of good playmakers, Monk should have many opportunities to attack closeouts and generate highlights. The three point shot just has to come around. Monk has good ball skills as well and better three point shooting shooting should open up his pick and roll game. Monk still has the potential to be a devastating on and off ball scorer.

Monk is in a contract year so I am sure he will get a lot of run in the second unit so that the Hornets can see what they have in him. Personally, I think we should probably check the trade market to see what we can get for him, especially if he excels early. Depending on the development of LaMelo Ball and his fit with Devonte’ Graham, we could see Te’ transition to more of a sixth man role that he would really excel at (his ideal role in his prime in my opinion). That leaves Monk kind of out of it. With so many guards on the roster, I expect to see a lot of trade rumors around Monk this year. Who knows if he actually gets traded but here’s to hoping that he can continue to improve as a shooter.