Kentucky coach John Calipari wanted Malik Monk to play under the bright lights of New York.
The Knicks passed on Monk with the eighth pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night, and the former Kentucky star shooting guard was picked No. 11 by the Charlotte Hornets.
“I wanted Malik in New York because I thought he would light it up. It would be back on,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said on ESPN’s draft set. “But they must’ve liked the French kid. I’ve not seen him enough but I hear he’s really good.”
New York took point guard Frank Ntilikina from France with their pick.
Monk will join fellow former Wildcats star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in Charlotte. Monk said he Skyped with Charlotte owner Michael Jordan in the week leading up to the draft.
“I knew that he wasn’t going to fall by Michael,” Calipari said. “He plays like Mike.”
Monk was one of three Kentucky players taken in the lottery. De’Aaron Fox went No. 5 to the Sacramento Kings and Bam Adebayo went No. 14 to the Miami Heat.