You can complain about a lot of things the Los Angeles Lakers did this past offseason, but bringing in Malik Monk is not one of them. Monk is a long way from his native Arkansas, but you can best believe that his game travels. All of the flair and flow of his game was tailored made for the big lights of Los Angeles. Monk has found a new home.
How were the Lakers able to get a talent of this caliber?
Well it happened with two parts: a poor market, and Monk’s growth as an NBA player. As part of the franchise making itself over, he was one of their key free agent acquisitions. Monk’s availability was just as much as a surprise, let alone his signing. The Charlotte Hornets moved on from him and he fell into the market.
Monk agreed to a one-year minimum deal with the Lakers— a MINIMUM deal. Even with his woes — including a suspension with the Hornets — and his inconsistency, he’s worth much more. The Lakers were only one of two teams with genuine interest in bringing him into their fold, as written by The Athletic’s Jovan Buha. Monk went on to discuss his free agency experience:
The Lakers remained the frontrunners because their pitch was more convincing. Monk, refusing to accept his circumstances, contemplated waiting for more suitors. But then Lakers head coach Frank Vogel called. And finally, the most important recruiter of all reached out via text: James.
Monk revealed the details of his conversation with LeBron James, the star waiting in the wings for his help:
“I told LeBron I wanted to wait to see my options the next day,” Monk said. “Shit, I didn’t have any options. Called the Lakers right back that second day and I said, ‘I’m coming.’”
Monks averaging a career-high of 13.1 points per game. He’s also shooting 39.9 percent from three this season. It’s safe to say that the 24 year old is trending up towards the level that many believed he was capable of playing. Monk wants to make Los Angeles his home, but there’s the possibility that a suitable deal may only be available through some creativity. The best thing is that the Lakers will be in the running again for his services, as mentioned in the piece:
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look at my future with anything,” Monk said. “I love it here. I’d love to play here again, man. But you never know what’s gonna happen with the NBA. You never know what happens. It’s a business, at the end of the day. But I’d definitely love to play here.
“But I don’t know. It’s hard to call the future.”
The Lakers will have to continue to give him his shot, and hopefully keep his loyalty this summer.