Tuesday, October 26 2021

Most of the signings in free agency by the Los Angeles Lakers revolved around long-time veterans agreeing to veteran minimum deals.

Players like Carmelo Anthony, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore, who are all over the age of 30, signed one-year deals for the minimum to compete for a championship.

The Lakers were squeezed financially, so convincing players to sign on cheap deals was a necessary tactic, as team owner Jeanie Buss described.

But an outlier in the pack of minimum deals was Malik Monk, the 23-year-old guard from the Charlotte Hornets.

The 11th overall pick in 2017 broke out in his fourth season with the team, but it didn’t come fast enough as Charlotte had too many talented guards on the depth chart, forcing Monk as the odd man out.

Los Angeles picked up Monk on a one-year minimum deal, which could become the best value signing of the summer. Monk detailed the factors that led to his decision to sign with L.A.

“The environment, man,” Monk said. “And this organization, and all the knowledge that I’ll learn. How to be a pro, how to work, how to work smarter and just how to be a man too, as well.”

Monk mentioned how he’s still young and could absorb what the veterans know on and off the court.

“I’m still learning, I’m still going through life, too,” Monk said. “I’m 23. So these guys have been doing it a long longer, and so I can ask lot of questions and I can learn. Not just about being on the basketball court but off the court as well. That was the biggest thing.”

Monk made noise last season by averaging 11.7 points, converting on 43.4 percent of his shots on 9.5 attempts and shooting 40.1 percent from deep on 5.0 attempts; all numbers are career-highs.

A one-year deal for Monk is essentially a chance for him to prove last season wasn’t a fluke and land a better payday next offseason. Playing alongside LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis should give Monk numerous opportunities to leave his imprint.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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