Malik Monk has left everything on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers since arriving in L.A. in the summer.
Monk signed with the Lakers after the Charlotte Hornets didn’t extend his qualifying offer ahead of his fourth year in the NBA, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 24-year-old guard has revealed he didn’t receive much attention from other teams before he inked a one-year minimum deal with L.A, fueling his desire to prove the doubters wrong.
But the Purple and Gold have been a fan of the sharpshooter for a while. Monk’s older brother and agent, Marcus, claims the Lakers tried to bring the Kentucky alum in even before the 2021 offseason, but the Hornets refused to trade him, per The Athletic’s Jovan Buha:
Monk and Marcus were frustrated with Charlotte because several teams — including the Lakers in both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons — had tried to trade for Monk over the past few years. They’d pushed the Hornets to accept the deals, particularly ahead of the 2021 trade deadline. But the Hornets refused to trade him — to the Lakers or elsewhere — claiming he was a part of their future. Then, they didn’t extend his qualifying offer or re-sign him, which further hurt his reputation around the league and partially caused him to lose out on millions of dollars.
“Teams don’t have access to all the information on the character of a person and who the person is,” Marcus said. “They’re not in the locker rooms. … I think all of that stuff played into why there wasn’t much interest. And, from me looking at it as if I’m the other 29 teams, I don’t blame them. … All of those things needed to happen. If those things wouldn’t have happened, he would be in the mindset that he’s in right now.
“He’s literally trying to kill every time he touches the floor. Because there are 29 other teams that had the opportunity to sign him.”
LeBron James said in the past the Lakers had tried to “snatch” Monk from Charlotte, adding he had followed the guard since his high school days.
“[T]hrough patience and through timing, we were able to get him this summer, which is still kind of doesn’t make sense to me,” James said in January.
Monk opens up on uncertain future with Lakers
Monk is set to receive plenty of interest in the upcoming free agency following his strong performance in 2021-22. He’s become a major offensive weapon for the Lakers, averaging 13.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 47.1% from the field and 39.9% from downtown.
Monk has said he “would love to play [in L.A.] again.” However, the Lakers’ lack of cap space could price them out of re-signing the talented scored.
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