CHICAGO -- De’Aaron Fox isn’t the only Kentucky Wildcat who could be on the Sixers’ radar in the first round.
Shooting guard Malik Monk is also a projected high lottery pick. Monk did not attend the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago this week. Fox did, though, and spoke of his former teammate’s NBA potential.
“First, don’t let him get hot,” Fox said. “If he gets hot, it’s over. [He’s] extremely athletic.”
Finding shooters is on the Sixers’ to-do list this summer. They ranked 27th overall in field goal shooting (44.2 percent) and tied with the Bulls for 24th in three-point shooting (34.0 percent). Two guards Nik Stauskas and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot are under contract for next season. Gerald Henderson’s deal is non-guaranteed.
Monk averaged 19.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his lone season at Kentucky. He shot 45.0 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from long range. Monk scored over 20 points in a half six times last season and set the mark for most field goals made by a freshman (251) in Wildcats’ history.
Monk was named SEC Freshman of the Year, AP Newcomer of the Year and the winner of the Jerry West Award for the nation’s top shooting guard, among numerous other accolades.
One of the critiques against Monk is his height. Last season, he measured in at 6-foot-3 with a wingspan of 6-3-and-a-half. Fox believes Monk will play beyond his size in the NBA.
“One guy I always use is (Celtics guard) Avery Bradley,” Fox said. “He locks down twos. I don’t think Malik will have a problem with playing the two or playing off ball. He can play on ball, but he’s probably best off the ball.”
The Sixers will learn where they are drafting in the first round at the lottery Tuesday. They have a 14.7 percent chance to land the No. 1 pick, between their own pick (11.9 percent) and rights to swap with the Kings (2.8 percent). The Sixers also will receive the Lakers’ pick if it falls out of the top three.