Malik Monk signed a two-year, $19 million contract with the Sacramento Kings this summer. With that move, he officially dashed all hopes of a return to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In one season as a member of the purple and gold Monk averaged 13.8 points per game on 47.3 percent shooting from the field. Many times he was the team’s second or third best player on the court.
Based on Monk’s blunt responses to the topic of him playing in Los Angeles for less money in 2022-23, plus his fairly straight-forward assessment of how the team did things, the writing for his exit was on the wall.
This week, Monk caught up with TMZ reporters and weighed in on several Lakers-related happenings. One of the primary ones was the reported recent meeting that took place between Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis regarding the trio’s L.A. future and how to move forward.
“They grown men,” Monk said. “Especially when they have convos like that, it’ll work out for them. They all great.”
Monk also made it a point to credit James for having experienced a career-best year.
“LeBron had a big part of everything,” Monk replied when asked how James shaped his career. “He had a big part in me coming to L.A. It’s Bron, bro. He gon’ try to help every teammate he comes in contact with. So, I have nothing bad to say about him.
“You got to play at a level he plays at,” Monk added. “If not, you going to get surpassed. That’s why he’s so great.”
Monk always had the right attitude when it came to playing alongside James – unlike Westbrook. Which is why he overperformed relative to expectations, while Westbrook underperformed.
With Monk now gone, Westbrook figures to be next. Currently one impediment stands in the way of him getting traded, but presumably it will get sorted before the beginning of the regular season.
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 23, 2022
Or at least ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski seems to believe it will.
How will the Lakers ultimately compensate for the loss of Monk in 2022-23?
Time will tell.