Gerry Rafferty once said “If you get it wrong, you’ll get it right next time”. That is exactly what the Charlotte Hornets had in mind entering last night’s NBA Draft. Their recent draft history had a little bit of ups and downs during Rich Cho’s tenure as Hornets general manager, but last night, Cho knew that he wanted to give the people of “Buzz City” what they wanted, and when the 11th pick was made, Cho finally got one right. Charlotte would select Malik Monk out of the University of Kentucky, and from that moment, Hornets fans everywhere knew that it would be one of the biggest steals in last night’s NBA Draft.
When you’re a team that’s building toward a future, you need someone that can serve as a perfect addition to a Hornets roster that has gotten a major-league overhaul this past week, when Charlotte acquired Dwight Howard from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade that sent Miles Plumlee and Marco Bellinelli to Atlanta, and just like his playing days at Kentucky, Monk knows that he wants to make a statement and to help the Hornets win during the upcoming 2017-18 season in Charlotte. In short, Monk has all the qualities and capabilities to make it in the NBA, and his numbers during his years at Kentucky playing for one of the best college coaches in the country, John Calipari, are no lie, because he ranked second in the nation among all Division 1 freshmen in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game, and he’s just one of two Kentucky Wildcats to average at least 19 points/2 rebounds/2 assists since the start of the 1993-94 season.
Then in the second round, Rich went back to “Trader Cho” mode, as Charlotte would select Frank Jackson with the 31st pick in the NBA Draft, and they would elect to trade that pick to the New Orleans Pelicans for the 40th pick in the second round, which would turn out to be Dwayne Bacon out of Florida State University, to cap off what would be one of the most successful draft nights in the history of Charlotte NBA basketball(since 1988-89), and yes, Cho finally got one right this time around, after almost 3 years of failures of not getting one right, he finally decided to give the fans what they wanted and more, and that is what the fans here in Charlotte were looking for in last night’s draft to cap off one of the most exciting weeks in Hornets history, starting out with a conversation on social media between the Hornets and Hawks twitter feeds talking about a trade, and the end result was of course, Dwight Howard being traded to the Hornets, and ending it with the selection of Malik Monk at number 11 in the first round of the NBA Draft, and the draft-day trade that sent Frank Jackson, the 31st pick in the NBA Draft to the Pelicans and getting Dwayne Bacon in return.
Now that the NBA Draft is in the books, the question is this: What will the Charlotte Hornets do in free agency? Only time will tell.