Malik Monk Will Consider Taking Less Money To Stay With The Lakers

Among the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season for the Lakers was Malik Monk, as the young shooting guard enjoyed a career year after signing with the Lakers on a minimum deal after the Hornets declined to extend a qualifying offer to him.

Monk’s time in Charlotte was rocky at best, but arriving in L.A. he found something that allowed him to live up to his potential as a former lottery pick as he became the Lakers best and most reliable shooter. Monk averaged 13.8 points per game, hitting 39.1 percent of his threes, in his first season with the Lakers, and in doing so he positioned himself to make a significant raise this summer as he hits unrestricted free agency again.

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. For most, that’s enough of a difference to walk without much thought, but Monk told The Athletic’s Jovan Buha that it won’t be that easy of a decision and that, if that mid-level offer comes, he’ll have to seriously consider it given how comfortable he felt in L.A.

“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.”

“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. That’s the biggest priority: A team that’s just going to let me come in and be myself.”

For Monk, who’s made just over $17 million in five seasons, this is his first chance at a big payday, but the situation he’s going into and the opportunity to play as freely as he did in L.A. seem more important than the financials. Now, 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, so all this may end up being moot if there’s a team out there that sees Monk as that guy. However, if push comes to shove and all that’s out there are two-year deals that might provide a bit more money but don’t offer true financial stability or a guarantee of an increased role, then it seems the Lakers have a real shot at retaining Monk.