If there is one player worth retaining from last year’s Los Angeles Lakers roster, it is Malik Monk as the young guard served as a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Purple and Gold.
Monk signed a minimum deal with the Lakers last summer and made the most of the opportunity by having a career year, setting himself up for a nice payday in free agency this time around.
The Lakers have made it clear that they have interest in bringing Monk back, and that interest appeared to be mutual as he said he would be willing to take less money to stay in L.A.
Despite Monk’s comments though, Jake Fisher of Bleacher Report reported in a Spotify Live chat with Marc Stein that Monk is looking for more money that the Lakers can offer and one team with interest is the division rival Sacramento Kings:
“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.”
The most the Lakers can offer Monk is the taxpayer mid-level exception of around $6 million a year, which is lower than the $8-12 million he is believed to be looking for.
The Kings are definitely a team that would make sense as a landing spot for Monk as it would reunite him with his college backcourt mate at Kentucky in De’Aaron Fox.
With Fox and Domantas Sabonis leading the charge, the Kings are looking to win now and Monk could be a nice addition to bring a scoring punch.
Lakers prioritizing wings in free agency
If Monk doesn’t accept the Lakers’ offer and leaves for Sacramento or elsewhere, the expectation is that L.A. will use its mid-level exception to target two-way wings.
Players they have been linked to include T.J. Warren, Otto Porter Jr., Gary Harris, Danuel House, Mo Bamba, Nicolas Batum and plenty of others.
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