If Malik Monk is There, Dallas Shouldn’t Hesitate

Nov 23, 2016; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Malik Monk (5) goes up for a dunk against the Cleveland State Vikings in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Cleveland State 101-70. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 23, 2016; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Malik Monk (5) goes up for a dunk against the Cleveland State Vikings in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Cleveland State 101-70. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports /

If Malik Monk is available when the Dallas Mavericks are on the board, then Dallas shouldn’t think twice on taking him.

Slated as the No. 5 prospect of ESPN’s class of recruits in 2016, Malik Monk chose to attend the University of Kentucky over staying at home in Arkansas.

Monk would go to Lexington and join two other top ten recruits in De’Aaron Fox and Edrice “Bam” Adebayo as John Calipari’s latest recruiting masterpiece. Although the season didn’t end with a banner (thanks to North Carolina), Monk definitely sent shockwaves around the NCAA in his short time in college basketball.

Standing at 6’3″ with a near 6’6″ wingspan, Monk played alongside of Fox in Lexington to form the deadliest back court in the entire country.

With Fox running the show, Monk was the Wildcats’ main scoring threat from the outside…and really anywhere else.

He finished the season averaging 19.8 points a game where he shot right at 40% from behind the arc. Then you consider the fact that Monk was one of the only efficient outside shooters on the team and he attempted 262 three pointers on the season and suddenly that 40% shooting becomes more impressive.

He came into college basketball known as a prolific scorer, but it wasn’t until December 17, 2017 that he really got the attention of everyone across the country.

While playing against the eventual national champions in North Carolina, Monk put on an absolute show by putting up 47 points in 38 minutes…in a college basketball game. He went 18-28 from the field and 8-12 from behind the arc.

I watched that game from start to finish and it was a performance I haven’t forgotten since. I’m comfortable in saying that Malik Monk was the most ‘heat check’ guy college basketball has seen since Steph Curry at Davidson.

But don’t get caught up thinking he is just a shooter. When Monk came into Kentucky, he measured with a 42 inch vertical. He also participated in the McDonalds All-American Dunk Contest and would go on to win the McDonalds All-American Three Point Shootout.

Take a look at this highlight clip from his high school days just over a year ago.

In the video, John Calipari goes on to say the only player he has seen like this was Derrick Rose. Saying Monk is just a shooter or scorer really does disservice to his athleticism.

So why isn’t Malik Monk ranked higher on some draft boards?

The main question mark comes down to what his position will be at the next level. Playing alongside of Fox at Kentucky, Monk was regulated to the shooting guard spot where running the offense was never really his thing.

To some scouts, it could be an issue with his 6’3″ frame, but it’s not like Monk hasn’t proved he could run point before.

"“But coming off an MVP performance at last week’s Nike Global Challenge, when he played exclusively with the ball in his hands, Monk continued to show the instincts to eventually slide over. His passing ability and overall feel for the game are both drastically underrated, and on Thursday he even handled the ball and made decisions against pressure,” Adam Finkelstein, of ESPN, said in 2015 when scouting Monk."

Monk has shown he is capable, now it’s proving to NBA GM’s that he can do it consistently at the next level.

For comparisons at the next level, I like to look at a combination of a few players.

A heat check type scorer off the bench in Lou Williams is commonly brought up, but Williams doesn’t have the athleticism like Monk has. Same goes for Jason Terry. Great, all-time scorer, but never really had the athleticism as Monk does coming into the league.

Monk reminds me a lot of J.R. Smith. People forget the dunks J.R. used to throw down in Denver and even New York while we all know about his sudden ability to score from anywhere on the court. So I view Monk as a J.R. Smith version that can play the point and facilitate for an offense.

In today’s small ball, three-point shooting era, Malik Monk fits the bill to a tee.

Because of that, you can’t over think the fit if Malik Monk is still on the board at nine.

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Last year, Seth Curry came on board and put up career numbers across the board as he looks to be taking a next step in his career. Now, the question for him is what position he plays moving forward.

The fit with Monk and Curry is a whole different subject, but for a talent like Monk, you simply take him and make it work.

In fact, if it came down to picking between the two, I’m going with Monk over Curry. He is already more athletic than Curry and could be the better all around scorer. Then you consider that Monk is 19 years old compared to Curry being 26 years old.

This isn’t even going into the possibility of Seth Curry leaving in free agency next summer when he is an unrestricted free agent.

So for you people out there who might think Dallas could get “stuck” with Malik Monk on draft night, sign me up any day to be stuck like that. Prolific scorers like Monk don’t come into the draft very often and the possibility of having him in Dallas for the next eight years should make fans really excited.

Next: 2017 NBA Mock Draft 3.0

If he falls to nine, make him a Maverick Donnie.