Kentucky’s Malik Monk, potential top-five pick, declares for NBA draft

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Kentucky’s starting backcourt is headed to the NBA draft.

After De’Aaron Fox declared, fellow freshman Malik Monk is also turning pro.

Kentucky release:

Malik Monk announced Tuesday that he plans to enter his name in the 2017 NBA Draft and will sign with an agent, effectively ending his career at UK.

The combo guard likely goes in the top 10 and could go in the top five.

Monk is a lights-out scorer. He excelled from beyond the arc (40% on nearly seven 3-point attempts per game), and used above-the-rim athleticism and some craftiness to finish well at the basket.

But his athleticism didn’t translate to ancillary skills like defending and rebounding at Kentucky, which invites questions. So does Monk’s position.

Is the 6-foot-3 Monk big enough to play shooting guard in the NBA? Does he have the distributing skills to play point guard?

Still, scoring is the hottest commodity. That alone will lift Monk high in the draft and give the 19-year-old opportunities to find the rest of his game.