Los Angeles Lakers guard Malik Monk reportedly is searching for more lucrative options in free agency this offseason.
This may come as a surprise, as Monk has stated that he is willing to return to the Lakers for less money this offseason.
“The Lakers would like to retain Malik Monk at their taxpayer mid-level, but Monk is also searching for more lucrative deals, sources said, despite telling Jovan Buha of The Athletic he’d be willing to return to Los Angeles on a discount,” Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote.
This is a tough scenario for the Lakers, as they picked Monk up as a steal prior to the 2021-22 season. The former first-round pick went on to have arguably the best season of his career, and now he may be looking to cash in.
During the 2021-22 season, Monk averaged 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 47.3 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc.
He emerged as one of the Lakers’ most reliable options on offense behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers’ depth would take a major hit if Monk were to leave in free agency.
The Lakers are in a tough spot with the salary cap since they are carrying huge salaries such as those of James, Davis and Russell Westbrook. It is going to be hard to make a bigger offer to Monk other than the taxpayer mid-level.
Monk was drafted with the No. 11 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and spent the first four seasons of his career with the Charlotte Hornets. The University of Kentucky product will likely be coveted by any team looking to add bench scoring or a solid perimeter player on offense.