Malik Monk impresses at workout with Phoenix Suns

08 Juin, 2017, 04:00 | Author: Marie-Claire Cellier
  • Malik Monk impresses at workout with Phoenix Suns

Former Kentucky Basketball guard Malik Monk impressed the Phoenix Suns' staff after his workout on Tuesday afternoon. "I think I'm pretty good at it", he said.

"As soon as I step in the gym".

And when pressed to compare his range to that of two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry, Monk doubled down.

"Mine's further than his", Monk joked. Drafting a player like Malik Monk could only amplify the Suns' scoring options.

If only looking at mock drafts, it seems unlikely the Suns would draft Monk at No. 4. But he'll let his confidence speak on that.

"I feel like I'm the number one player in the nation right now", Monk said. "I've always been this way". "When I go out, it'll be his turn".

Monk's best known as a scorer. He's Kentucky's all-time leading freshman scorer with 754 points last season, which also totals the fourth-best mark in a single season in school history.

His 19.8 points per game ranked second nationally among all freshmen and he was given the 2017 Jerry West Award honoring the country's top shooting guard.

"We obviously need better shooting...and finding shooters", he said.

Pat Connelly is the assistant general manager of the Phoenix Suns.

Teams can never have enough shooters.

"Last year - and obviously he'll admit it - he played with a great point guard that made it easy for him", Connelly said. The Suns select fourth overall, which may, to some experts, be too high to make Monk the selection. "He shoots it easy".

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Everyone knows Monk can score, but what else can he offer?

Most of his talent comes from his ability to shoot the ball from behind the arc.

However, Monk said he is just as comfortable on the ball as he is off it.

"The best player is going to play, that's what I think", he said. "I read ball-screens well, I read down-screens and stuff like that well".

Months after their December matchup, Kentucky and North Carolina met in the Elite Eight and Monk nearly played hero once again. That is an area of his game, however, in which Monk believes is underrated.

Everyone remembers what followed as North Carolina's Luke Maye hit a game-winning shot with just 0.3 seconds remaining to eliminate Kentucky and effectively end Monk's collegiate career. "Some guys are shooters, some guys don't have that gunner mentality; he kinda has both, which you like to see out of guys that can put up huge numbers in a pressure-filled environment".

"Coach Cal tells you the things you don't want to hear", Monk said. "We don't look at it as overcrowding when we're going through this draft process, we look at every player we think can help us, every player we think is talented enough to be in consideration for that fourth pick". They practice against one another in college, play top teams during the season and even scrimmage against National Basketball Association players when former Wildcats return to campus.

The Arizona Republic reported that Monk said he exchanges text messages with Ulis every other day and Booker at least once a week.

Last season, Booker returned to Kentucky and performed a shooting drill with Monk.

But when asked about what prepares Kentucky players most for the NBA, Monk's answer wasn't about basketball.

Tuesday's workout was Monk's first, and he said he'd be visiting the Orlando Magic next. "Fans everywhere. People everywhere trying to take pictures whenever you go out in public".


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