The LA Lakers have received a positive update regarding Malik Monk's free agency as he hinted that he could re-sign with the team for less money.
The shooting guard was arguably their best signing last season. He averaged a career-best 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Monk was one of their most efficient scorers as well, recording a true shooting percentage of 59.2%.
The former Charlotte Hornets guard also struck a strong chemistry with LeBron James. The LA Lakers need a sharpshooter like Monk, who can contribute off the bench and give their offense an instant boost. LA won't be able to offer him a sum some of the other teams cam, but he isn't bothered by that.
Here's what Monk told The Athletic's Jovan Buha:
“They might not be able to pay me as much as I want. But I could be here and be way more comfortable as a Laker than going to any other team and they're paying me $5 million more. So it's just me trying to figure out what team would really want me.”
The LA Lakers and Dallas Mavericks were the only teams to display some interest in Monk last offseason. LeBron James, then-coach Frank Vogel and GM Rob Pelinka personally recruited him. This could've influenced Monk's desire to re-sign with the Lakers for less money.
LA Lakers fan favorite Malik Monk says he will still consider all options
Malik Monk is an unrestricted free agent, which denies the LA Lakers the chance to discuss his contract right now. LA needs to capitalize on the guard's interest to stay once the free agency window opens.
Monk, meanwhile, revealed that he intends to consider all options in free agency, including offers from other teams. He told The Athletic:
“I definitely would still want to evaluate things. You never know what happens. Some other team could come in and hopefully tell me the same thing and maybe I get a little bit more minutes on that team.”
“So it's just actually me being presented and being able to go out there and do what I do is a priority. That's the biggest priority: A team that's just going to let me come in and be myself.”
The LA Lakers have seen Monk develop in front of their eyes. He is a favorite among the fans and drew plenty of praise from the franchise's superstars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The most the Lakers can offer him in free agency is the taxpayer midlevel exception worth $6.4 million.
Monk could command up to $10-12 million per year in free agency. Consequently, it will be a solid steal for the LA Lakers if they can keep him for another year.
LA has several roster decisions to make, though. Kyrie Irving is the biggest name being linked to the Purple and Gold. Irving may not have many suitors on the market if he enters free agency. He could also be out of reach even for the teams he reportedly has on his wishlist.
The LA Lakers are the only team showing an interest in Irving, but they can only offer him the TMLE. If Irving is willing to take a paycut and sign with the Lakers using that route, re-signing Monk could become an unlikely proposition.
It will be interesting to see how LA deals with these decisions.