Lakers’ Malik Monk prioritizes fit ahead of free agency

In an otherwise dismal season, the Los Angeles Lakers saw Malik Monk shining as the first player to come off the bench this past year. Monk will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but LA might be the place he wants to be for the future.

In an interview with Johan Buva of The Athletic, the explosive guard said he is comfortable in “Purple and Gold” and admitted that he could sign for less money to stay with the LA franchise.

As he claimed, the Lakers let him be himself and Monk averaged 13.8 points per game, hitting 39.1 percent of his threes, in his first season in LA. As a result, he set to receive a significant raise this offseason after joining the Lakers on a minimum deal last year.

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

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With the Lakers capped out, all they have to offer him is another minimum or the taxpayer mid-level ($6.3 million), which is potentially well below what the market may provide. Many executives and specialists expect him to command over 10-12 million this offseason.

“I definitely would still want to evaluate things,” Monk said. “You never know what happens. Some other team could come in and hopefully tell me the same thing and maybe I get a little bit more minutes on that team. So it’s just actually me being presented and being able to go out there and do what I do is a priority.

The Lakers will likely have a chance to re-sign the explosive shooting guard this offseason. But, if a team is going to commit $10+ million annually to him on a three or four-year deal, they are almost assuredly envisioning him in a pretty significant role on their team.

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