NBA rumors suggest the Sacramento Kings are one team that could lure LA Lakers free agent Malik Monk to join them. Monk had a breakout year with the Lakers last campaign. He averaged 13.8 points across 76 games, playing on a minimum deal.
Monk set himself up to earn a big payday this offseason as an unrestricted free agent. NBA rumors suggest he could be offered $8-12 million annually.
Monk expressed his desire to re-sign with the LA Lakers at a discounted rate, which would ideally be the $6 million taxpayer exception, the most the franchise can offer him. The LA Lakers are also keen to keep him.
However, Malik also said he would keep all options open entering free agency. As per Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, Monk and the Kings have shown mutual interest in forming a partnership. Here's what Fischer revealed on Spotify Live chat with insider Marc Stein (H/T Lakers Nation):
“When [Malik] Monk told [Jovan Buha of The Athletic] that he was willing to go back to the Lakers for under the mid-level, I was like ‘huh?’ Because I had heard that he basically could go back to the Lakers for the mid-level right now if he wanted to."
"It seems like there’s very mutual interest there. But he definitely is looking for more, a bit more. The numbers I’ve heard are between $8 million and $12 million, which the taxpayer is at $6 million.
"The one team I heard, I’m not saying this is a done deal or it’s gonna happen, it’s a very different situation than L.A. but I heard there’s mutual interest, the one team I’ve heard to look out for him not to go to the Lakers is the Sacramento Kings.”
NBA Rumors: LA Lakers must re-sign Malik Monk
The LA Lakers are looking to return to championship contention after failing to make the playoffs last year. They added former MVP Russell Westbrook to their roster, but that move didn't work out as expected.
Westbrook and LeBron James were an awkward fit on the court due to their similar playing styles.
James thrived, but Westbrook didn't adapt to his new role. The Lakers also struggled to surround their big three with quality offensive players that shoot well. Malik Monk was among the few players that managed to fill that role.
He was able to take care of the rock and shoot efficiently last season (47% from the field, including 39% from three). Monk also developed solid chemistry with LeBron James. He can also create his shot, which will be important to the LA Lakers' offense next year.
Malik Monk still has plenty of room to develop defensively, though. He is still young and athletic, so he has the tools to improve in that regard.
The LA Lakers, in their current state, may not find a player as impactful as Monk for the taxpayer exception, so offering him the full exception seems like an ideal move.