2 Ideal Suitors For Lakers’ Malik Monk In NBA Free Agency

Malik Monk, Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered through an extremely disappointing 2021-22 NBA season, missing the playoffs after finishing 33-49. In a season with few bright spots, one of them was undeniably Malik Monk. At times, Monk looked like the Lakers’ second-best player behind LeBron James.

Malik Monk averaged just under 14 points per game but had flashes of brilliance. Monk had 22 games of 20+ points, including a 41-point explosion in a 5-point win over the Denver Nuggets. Monk shot 39.1% from deep and was one of the Lakers’ most efficient players – 3rd in eFG% among Lakers who played 50+ games.

Monk’s impressive season is unfortunately bad news for the Los Angeles Lakers, as the guard is now an unrestricted free agent. After his performance, there are no doubt teams will be interested in acquiring him.

The Detroit Pistons are a team that could certainly benefit from Monk’s contributions. Detroit finished second to last in the NBA in three-point FG%, at 32.8%. With young star Cade Cunningham running the show, filling the roster with efficient floor spacers should be priority #1. Cunningham is equipped already to run an NBA offense and would be able to set up Monk for frequent open looks.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Mavericks Could Pursue Lakers’ Malik Monk In Offseason?

The Pistons were near the middle of the pack in the NBA for three-point frequency. In the modern NBA, being able to take and make threes at a high volume is a necessity for contention. Monk’s addition would help the efficiency, but also the volume of threes the Pistons take. Malik Monk took 5.8 3PA this season, a number that would put him behind only sharpshooter Saddiq Bey on the Pistons’ roster.

Another team that should show interest in Malik Monk is the Dallas Mavericks – for similar reasons. The Mavericks, unlike Detroit, have no problem taking threes. The team finished fifth in the NBA with 43.8% of their shots being threes.

Dallas could use a boost on the efficiency side though, and Monk certainly could help with that. Dallas was 12th worst in the NBA in three-point percentage, despite the high amount they took. Their highest-volume shooters Luka Dončić (35.3% from three) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (33.6%) certainly bring the team-wide markdown. But Dallas does have a lack of good floor spacers outside of Dorian Finney-Smith, Jalen Brunson, and Reggie Bullock.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Mavericks Could Pursue Lakers’ Malik Monk In Offseason?

For most teams, three good floor-spacers would be plenty. For Dallas though, with their offense structured around Luka’s drive and kick game, more would help. Add in the fact that Brunson, too, is an unrestricted free agent, and a Monk addition starts to make lots of sense.

Malik Monk displayed a contender-ready skillset in Los Angeles. He didn’t look like a main piece, but he showed that, given the opportunity, he can be an effective player. Coming off of a season making under $2 million, he may be one of the more attainable free agents for cap-strapped teams.

The Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks are good examples of teams who would benefit from Malik Monk’s services, but there are many more. Once free agency hits, expect there to be a lot of buzz around this potentially soon-to-be-former Laker.