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Malik Monk Open To Taking Less To Stay With Lakers

Lakers guard Malik Monk will be an unrestricted free agent, capable of signing with any team. But LA may be where he wants to stay.

As relayed by Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Monk has said he may be willing to take less money than he could get elsewhere to remain with the Lakers. 

If that were the case, he could only receive the taxpayer mid-level exception. That would be quite a discount, as he could make in the $10-$12 million range annually with another team.

“They might not be able to pay me as much as I want,” Monk said, via Buha. “But I could be here and be way more comfortable as a Laker than going to any other team (that would pay) me $5 million more. So it’s just me trying to figure out what team would really want me.”

The Lakers are up against it when comes to the salary cap. They have little wiggle room for moves one summer after failing to qualify for even the play-in tournament. With the likes of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, they have plenty of star power. But what looks good on paper did not transfer to the court.

They have been linked to Nets star Kyrie Irving, and it’s hard to know just yet how Monk’s situation could factor into such a pursuit. As we relayed, the Lakers are the only known team interested in pursuing a deal for Irving, who is in a contract squabble with Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, Monk said he is mostly thinking about playing time and the organization overall when it comes to free agency.

“Money is always a part, man, but I don’t think it’s the biggest priority in my free agency this year,” he said, via Buha. “It’s me feeling like I’m having a home and I can go out there and do the same things I did this year.”

Monk, 24, is 6-foot-3 and averaged career highs of 13.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 76 games in his first season in LA. All while shooting a career-high 47 percent from the field.

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