While much of the attention on the Los Angeles Lakers offseason additions has been focused on the older players they have brought in, the team did also sign a pair of intriguing, talented young guards in Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk.
Nunn went from undrafted to starter on the Miami Heat, even being a big part of the team’s run to the NBA Finals as a rookie in 2020. Monk, meanwhile, progressively improved in his four seasons with the Charlotte Hornets though hasn’t quite yet reached the potential many saw in him coming into the 2017 draft when he was a lottery pick.
Now both are with the Lakers and will be fighting for minutes in what is a crowded backcourt, but the work has already begun. Hashtag Lakers Pod Twitter captured a video of the two guards working out with Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy:
Monk & Nunn training with Coach Phil Handy 🔥🔥🔥
📹: mr_etah (IG) pic.twitter.com/gretRbsF3B
— #Lakers Podcast 🏀💜💛 (@HashtagLakerPod) September 7, 2021
Handy is one of the best and most respected assistant coaches in the world and there is no one better to help improve a player’s game. In this short clip, Monk and Nunn are engaged in a dribbling exercise and it is interesting to see where the focus is at least on this particular day.
The two players do bring different skillsets to the table, which is why each is a potentially exciting addition to the team. Monk is viewed as a potential sparkplug off the bench with his ability to score the basketball in bunches very quickly and he has improved his deep shooting ability greatly over the last couple of seasons. Nunn is a solid scorer and streaky shooter but has also proven to be a very good defender, something the Lakers will sorely need this year.
With Russell Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker, Rajon Rondo, and Wayne Ellington all vying for backcourt minutes this season, the road won’t be easy for Monk or Nunn. But these two are putting in the work to ensure that they will be able to contribute in any way possible to this team and give them an injection of youth.
Monk excited to learn from Westbrook on Lakers
One player Monk is excited to work with is Westbrook and the young guard is happy to learn a number of things from the former MVP.
“I can’t explain how excited I am,” Monk said. “But how to attack, when to attack, when not to attack, and just how to be on go-mode the whole time and just his intensity. He never takes no plays off, he’s always going 100% and that’s what I can take and try to learn from him too.”
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