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Hornets’ Malik Monk thought transition to NBA would be much smoother

Malik Monk, Hornets

Charlotte Hornets second-year shooting guard Malik Monk thought his transition from college to the NBA would be much smoother than it has been thus far.

Monk played one year at Kentucky and was a scoring machine. He averaged 19.8 points per game and was named the SEC Player of the Year. The Hornets drafted the scoring guard with the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

During his rookie season, Monk played in 63 games and put up 6.7 points per contest. The 6-foot-3 guard has increased his scoring average to 10.8 points this year, but Monk says he’s still learning on the fly and adjusting to the speed and physicality of the NBA:

“You have to know when to speed up and when to slow down,” Monk told Scott Cacciola of The New York Times. “I thought it would be way smoother. I thought I was going to play right away when I first got here. I thought I was going to play right away this year, too. But it’s been a lot of ups and downs.

“Man, if you’re a second late, it’s over with. You can recover in college. In college, you can hide in a zone, too. But here, you get exposed. Everybody’s so good.”

Malik Monk is shooting 39.7 percent from the field this season and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Hornets are hoping the 20-year-old can turn into a franchise-caliber shooting guard for them, but it’s clearly going to take some time, time that Charlotte may not have since All-Star point guard Kemba Walker will become a free agent after this year.

If Walker leaves the Hornets, Monk’s development would be sped up by the organization, something that could either be a positive or negative thing.