The Los Angeles Lakers reloaded their roster this year with an interesting mix of talent. Although the headlines have been dominated with talk of the roster being too old, the Lakers also made some smart moves by bringing in a few talented young players like Malik Monk.
At this point, there’s no telling what role Monk will play on this team filled with veterans, but he appears to already be making an impression on head coach Frank Vogel.
“I just think the versatility offensively of what he brings to the table has been what’s stood out most with Malik,” Vogel said of the Lakers newcomer. “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. His cutting has been very effective, his movement without the basketball, running the floor. His the ability to catch lobs both on the break and in the halfcourt. What he can do off the bounce, he can initiate offense. I wouldn’t put him as a full-time point guard, but you can run certain actions where he’s initiating for you. He’s comfortable with his handles. So his offensive versatility is probably what sticks out the most.”
Monk made the move to the Lakers over the summer after spending his entire career thus far with the Charlotte Hornets. During his time with the Hornets, he was once teammates with Dwight Howard, who also signed with the Lakers during free agency.
After practice on Saturday, Howard was asked about being teammates with Monk again and what he’s seen from him so far in Los Angeles.
“He’s always been great,” Howard said. “He’s always been amazing since I’ve been with him in Charlotte. I’ve always talked to him about just being patient, and just waiting until ‘You’re gonna get your time.’ And it seemed like everything just happened at the right time for him. He was in Charlotte, he didn’t really get a lot of opportunities to play, but now he’s on a team where everybody is going to see how talented he is, and I know he’s going to shine. I’ve been a big fan of his since he was young, and I’m happy that we’re teammates again. I’m just looking forward to seeing his success and whatever I can do on the court to make sure he gets those open shots.
“We call him ‘The Microwave.’ Once he hits one shot, you know it’s over with. He’s already heating up. So we’re going to make sure we keep his confidence flowing and continue to get better. I love what he brings to the game for this team and I’m happy he’s here.”
In the four seasons he played with the Hornets, Monk averaged 9.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 40.3 percent from the floor and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Monk’s career shooting percentage from three-point range isn’t all that impressive, but he is coming off his best year to date shooting from distance at 40.1 percent. He’ll almost certainly see his fair share of open shots from the perimeter with the Lakers and have a great chance of improving that percentage while becoming one of the team’s most reliable shooters.
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