Report: Lakers Have 'Strong Interest' in Retaining Malik Monk in NBA Free Agency

Adam WellsJune 30, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 7: Malik Monk #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Golden State Warriors on April 7, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers don't have a lot of flexibility to boost their roster in free agency, but they do hope to retain Malik Monk when the new league year begins on Thursday.

Per The Athletic's Jovan Buha, the Lakers will "strongly consider" re-signing Monk if they don't land a tall wing and he's willing to take a discount to remain with the club.

Monk told Buha earlier this week that he would be open to signing a cheaper deal with the Lakers due to his comfort with the organization.

"They might not be able to pay me as much as I want," he 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."

The Lakers have the taxpayer mid-level exception, worth up to $6.3 million, available if they want to re-sign Monk.

Buha noted the 24-year-old is probably the most realistic target for Los Angeles this offseason. He also cited Otto Porter Jr. and T.J. Warren among the team's list of top potential options to fill the need for a three-and-D wing.

The Athletic's Anthony Slater noted the Golden State Warriors intend to pursue re-signing Porter, but he is "considered obtainable for outside suitors" willing to go above and beyond what the Warriors can offer.

Warren is a great unknown at this point in his career. The North Carolina State alum played in four games during the 2020-21 season because of a foot injury that required surgery. He missed all of last season while recovering from the procedure.

Monk signed a one-year deal with the Lakers in free agency last year and was effective in his first season with the club, setting career highs in scoring average (13.8 points per game), rebounding (3.4) and assists (2.9) in 76 games.

Monk's 5.8 three-point attempts per game ranked second on the Lakers (LeBron James, 8.0). He shot 39.1 percent from behind the arc.