Sixers draft targets: Malik Monk is lights-out shooter Philly needs

The Sixers have five real options with the No. 3 pick. They could potentially land Lonzo Ball —if the Lakers pass. They can take forwards Josh Jackson or Jason Tatum or guards Malik Monk or De’Aaron Fox. There isn’t much of a chance the Celtics pass on Markelle Fultz with the first pick.

Lets take a look at the five potential big pieces for the Sixers’ future, starting with Kentucky sharp-shooter Malik Monk.

A 6-foot-3 two-guard, Monk’s size is cause for concern but that’s perhaps the only cause.

According to ESPN’s advanced analytics, he is the second best guard prospect in the draft with regard to his chances of becoming a productive NBA player.

Monk burst onto the national scene in an epic regular-season win against North Carolina back in December. He netted 47 points, a Wildcat freshman record. He also scored 37 in a win against Georgia a month later, ending the season a hair under 20 points per game on a loaded Kentucky roster that also includes top-5 prospect De’Aaron Fox.

Monk could be a great fit in the Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons offense as the team will need athletic scorers and spot-up shooters. The guard can make shots from beyond the arc (he had the third most three-pointers of any Kentucky player ever last year) as well as from the mid-range and around the rim. His college coach John Calapari sung his praises at the NBA Draft Combine.

“Malik Monk is special, folks. Special,” Calipari said. “I mean, there’s stuff that he does — you iso him, he can play a one, a two, head is on the rim, fast, good with the ball, a scorer but can do other things. Defensively, he could be that guy.”

An NBA comparison that seems widely accepted is the Celtics’ Avery Bradley but with a higher ceiling for superstardom. 

As far as the height issue, with Simmons at 6-foot-10 the Sixers have no shortage of size with Embiid and Dario Saric already starring for the young squad. In a league with a rich history of smaller guards scoring in dominant fashion (Allen Iverson, Isaiah Thomas, Russell Westbrook), the Sixers could take a chance on a prospect with All-Star potential in Monk.

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