The Charlotte Hornets’ season may be over, but guard Malik Monk has officially been reinstated after his suspension more than three months ago for violating the league’s anti-drug program.
Monk was suspended in February without pay and was not eligible to return until he was in full compliance with the NBA’s anti-drug program. It’s not clear when Monk was “in full compliance,” though Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak said it’s “been awhile now.”
“He went through his program, and my understanding was he was reinstated as soon as possible,” Kupchak said Monday, via ESPN. “He has been in our facility and participated in all team activities. Whenever we can resume some [group] activity, hopefully on a formal basis, he’ll be there.”
Monk averaged 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists before he was suspended this season, and was playing more than 21 minutes per game off the bench. The former Kentucky standout has been a bench player for the Hornets since they selected him with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2017 draft, having made just one start in 191 games.
His suspension was handed down two weeks before the NBA suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, too, so the 22-year-old didn’t end up missing much time in the end.
The Hornets did not qualify for the NBA’s 22-team plan to resume play next month at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, following the league’s coronavirus hiatus. The Hornets finished the season with a 23-42 record, and were the first team left out in the Eastern Conference.
“We welcome him back, and we move forward,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said, via ESPN. “Malik is ready to move forward. Obviously we haven’t been on the court with him. He’s been in our facility, which is a positive, but we welcome him back and we have work to do this summer and I know he’s ready to do it.”
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