Mike Brown seems to have decided on his starting backcourt for season number one leading the Sacramento Kings. The point guard spot was obviously never up for discussion, as De’Aaron Fox has that duty locked in. At shooting guard, a battle has been underway between Kevin Huerter, Terence Davis and newcomer Malik Monk.
It now seems as if that battle is all but concluded, with Mike Brown having the following to say in regard to his starting two guard.
Malik Monk has a relationship with De’Aaron Fox dating all the way back to their days as teammates in college. They led the Kentucky Wildcats during their lone season at the school in the 2016-17 campaign. Fox led the team in scoring at 19.8 points per game while Monk was right behind him at 16.7 points per game.
Also on that loaded Kentucky team was Bam Adebayo, Isaiah Briscoe and former King Wenyen Gabriel.
It’s not shocking to see Huerter take the job, even at the expense of Monk. Monk’s game has always profiled as that of a high end sixth man that can carry the offensive load for a second unit. Last year, he broke out for his most productive NBA season in his lone year playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Much like the Lakers a year ago, the Kings are desperate for added shooting to their rotation. Monk and Huerter bring exactly that, but Huerter may have more of the traits the team desires in the starting unit as opposed to coming off the bench.
Is Kevin Huerter the right guy for the Kings starting unit?
Much will be argued on the topic of whether or not Kevin Huerter should start, or Malik Monk should start. While Monk and Fox have the experience and relationship together, is Monk’s prolific scoring better suited in the opening five or coming off the bench, oftentimes alongside Davion Mitchell and company?
Monk is the better pure scorer. While neither is anything to write home about on the defensive end of the floor, it is fair to value Huerter’s size in the starting unit as opposed to the smaller Monk. Huerter checks in at 6”7′, while Monk checks in at 6’3”.
In addition to his size advantage, Huerter may be the better off ball playmaker of the two. Monk is score first oriented, which will be far more of an asset with the second unit than the starters. Kevin Huerter should complement the top options on the team, Fox, Harrison Barnes and big man Domantas Sabonis.
He has averaged 16.2 shot attempts per 100 possessions in his NBA career. Monk has averaged 21.1 shot attempts per 100 possessions. Both are good outside shooters, but Huerter has shown more discipline in his shot selection. That appeals to both him being a starter and Monk being a featured scorer coming off the bench.
While I, like many, wanted to see Monk get the first chance to start, this decision very well might be the correct one. It isn’t like Monk can’t finish games or play a key role late in games simply because he isn’t starting. Also, this situation appears to be very fluid and if things aren’t working, don’t be surprised to see Mike Brown change things up early.
Early on, it does appear as if this is the right choice for the starting shooting guard position. If it is not, there appears to be little risk and things can change