Malik Monk had to be the biggest surprise of all the new Los Angeles Lakers free agent signings. His age and potential combine for insane value on a minimum deal. Monk played some of his best NBA basketball last year. In 42 games for the Charlotte Hornets, he put up 11.7 points per game. If he continues to trend up, then consider it a bonus to the Lakers’ weapons at hand.
Head Coach Frank Vogel is already noticing some of the tools that’s made Monk an intriguing prospect. Silver Screen & Roll’s Harrison Faigen spoke with Coach Vogel about what caught his eye:
“I just think the versatility offensively of what he brings to the table has been what’s stood out most with Malik. He’s had a great first few days for us – he really has. He’s shot the ball well, but he’s really just performed offensively in a lot of different ways.”
More details on the conversation are here.
Monk’s abilities just means more hands to lift the burden for their big guns. There’s a hierarchy between LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. They were brought together to carry the load. What happens on a rare night when they can’t? Or what’s it like when one of the three is missing? This is the importance of what Monk has flashed.
The backcourt has stiff competition. Monk must supplant Kendrick Nunn and Talen Horton-Tucker for the bulk of the bench minutes. He’s more than capable of doing so. He just has to continue his shooting improvement to do so. Last season he bumped an average of 28.4 percent to 40.1 from long range. That’d easily have been one of the best marks on last season’s Lakers roster.
Sunday night, we will get our first look at him in purple and gold. Davis will be the only one of their trip available, so there will be plenty of opportunity. If Monk can build on what Coach Vogel is praising, he could be in for a longer stay in Los Angeles.