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Malik Monk says his free agency is “going to play out in the right way”

Monk discusses what is ahead for him this summer in free agency.
By | 82 Comments | Apr 23, 2024

Jan 18, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) smiles during warmups before the game against the Indiana Pacers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Monk knows this offseason is going to be complex. As his free agency looms, he admitted Monday in a session with media that he knows even if more money may be available to him from another team, it might not be a better situation than he has in Sacramento.

“It’s big because I can go somewhere else with a lot more money and be in a worse situation. So, you never know,” said Monk. “I have a great agent that’s going to do his job. I think my job is done. I did what I needed to do this year, and it’s going to play out. I think it’s going to play out in the right way.”

Monk, a top candidate to win the NBA Sixth Man Of The Year, made $9.9 million this season, the final season of his two-year deal.

The seven-year veteran has a lot of emotions about all that is happening, citing a strong connection to Sacramento and the impact he’s had locally and with his teammates. And he clearly is proud of his ability to step into a leadership role with the Kings.

“I think I stepped up as a leader for the team because Fox is not that vocal, Domas is not that vocal by telling people what to do. … He just shows – he goes out there and dominates, and I think that’s the way he leads. Everybody has a different way of leading, man. I think they just accepted me to be the leader of this team in different aspects,” said Monk, who also spoke about how Mike Brown did a good job of meshing all of the players who didn’t talk much with him and Trey Lyles, who spoke up a lot.

Domantas Sabonis thinks highly of Monk and said Monday he hopes that Monk will return to the team, expounding on the leadership impact of his teammate.

“With Malik, it’s not even on the court. It’s everything he does off the court. He keeps us together. He brings this energy. He always has guys with a smile on their face and has that off-court vibe that every team is looking for a guy like that on the team. And he definitely brings that with this group where we have a couple of more quiet guys,” Sabonis said.

We definitely have seen over the last two seasons how Monk served as the heartbeat of this team. When things were looking a little off and the team lacked energy, Monk flew in from the bench and ignited the offense and the fans in Golden 1 Center. He also was the only true playmaker on the roster outside of Fox. When he wasn’t there, it made the Kings offense more predictable.

Earning the Sixth Man Of the Year Award this season for that effort is something he wants, but even so, he isn’t shy about wanting to be a starter in the NBA. Yet, he also indicated his willingness to come off the bench again if that is what is best for his team.

“I definitely want to start. I think I’ve been saying that I wanted to start, but if it’s not fit for the team for me to start, I’ll come off the bench and be the best. So, I just take my role and run with it,” he said.

Despite the uncertainty, he makes it clear he has love for Sacramento.

“Emotions are everywhere, man. … I came here with one of my best friends [Fox], turned the organization around, turned the city around. The city loves me. I said before, I love the city. So, yeah, man, the emotions are just everywhere right now. That’s something I’ve got to deal with being an NBA player,” Monk said.

When asked in a perfect world situation if he would want to be in Sacramento, he replied with, “Definitely.”

This is pretty obvious, but the Kings need to bring Monk back next season if they want to remain competitive. As our good friend Jerry Reynolds says, you probably can’t replace him if you lose him. And if starting him next to Fox is the incentive that gets it done, then that is probably an accommodation that should be made for him.

This offseason is going to be a very important one.

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
April 23, 2024 10:42 am

Winning the 6MOY award could really be a double edged sword for the Kings. For one, it’s great for Monk and the Kings. It could be the one bright spot to an otherwise lackluster season. On the other hand, It could inflate his value in free agency. I’d imagine his agent and camp would use it as leverage in getting him as much money as possible, which is totally warranted.

The issue is what the past 6MOY winners are all making. Last year’s winner, Brogdon, signed a 2 year $45M extension BEFORE he won the award. The year before Tyler Herro won the award and then signed a 4 year $120M contract. In 2020 Jordon Clarkson, signed a relatively cheap deal of $52M over 4 years, but then went on to win 6MOY in 2021. This past summer he renegotiation his deal and signed a 3 year $55M extension.

If those past three 6MOY winners and they pay they were/are getting is any indication, Monk will be too expensive for the Kings, and keep in mind, salaries only continue to rise year after year.

Kfan
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April 23, 2024 10:56 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I feel like the max we can offer him is about the max I’d want to offer him. I would not want Herro and his contract

WizsSox
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April 23, 2024 12:39 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

On the other hand, It could inflate his value in free agency. I’d imagine his agent and camp would use it as leverage in getting him as much money as possible

No GM worth anything cares at all if he wins 6th man or not. It’s not like that sells tickets. They also won’t let that matter in negotiations. His production, positives and negatives are available for anyone to watch. His value is whatever one GM says it is, but I really doubt some GM increases their offer to him because he won some end of the year award.

I think it’s 60/40 he stays. Feels very much like Richaun Holmes situation. Many people on the board were convinced the Kings would lose Holmes because they were limited on what they could give him, just like Monk. In the end it was enough (unfortunately as it turned out).

In a 7 year career no team has consistently decided that Malik Monk was a starting caliber NBA guard. It’s very possible no team stills feels that way. IF that’s the case and most of the league has him pegged as a 6th man…4/78 is very reasonable and there might not be a bidding war. At that point he has similar offers, why not stay where he prefers which seemingly is Sacramento.

Your Herro example isn’t the same as he was only 22 coming up for rookie extension and seen as player on rise and part of Heat core future. The Clarkson figure is about same as what Monk got.

I lean towards he stays…wait and see

Last edited 2 months ago by WizsSox
RobHessing
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April 24, 2024 9:13 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t know that it matters either way, but if winning 6MOY is one side of the sword, not winning it is the other. That is, if winning it gives him more leverage, not winning it gives him more motivation to leave this small market team with limited current upside. Ultimately, I don’t think that it matters much either way.

Last edited 2 months ago by RobHessing
discocricket
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April 23, 2024 11:02 am

If we offer him the starting role, we’d need at least one other ballhandler and passer. I’d be interested in one of those Monte Morris type vet caretaker PGs. Since we effectively lose the slot if Malik walks, we should offer him the starting role + our max. He’d be tradable on that deal most likely.

Hobby916
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April 23, 2024 11:52 am
Reply to  discocricket

Starter or not, we know Monk will play 25+mpg, so it is really an honorary title of “starter”. If he does become the starter, Brown would just stagger the minutes with Fox/Monk/Sabonis like he already does. Just that the start of the game would look different.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 23, 2024 12:19 pm

Having a player with great value in the free agency market is a great problem for this organization.

This is progress.

Next steps….

Can they keep him?

Are they now attractive enough to bring in an equal or better if he leaves?

UpgradedToQuestionable
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April 23, 2024 12:54 pm

‘Lik is a wonderful spark plug player. Energy, Microwave, Instant Offense.

He states he “wants to be a starter”. Well, d’uh, of course. But, IMO, that is not who he is.

He is in the running for, and hopefully will win, the 6th Man Award. To be redundant for the emphasis – that is because, as the award states, he is a very good 6th Man.

Terrence Ross, Jamal Crawford – very similar type players, very similar type roles. NOT starters.

If he was such a great starter, than why didn’t Mike Brown start him? My answer – because he did not want to.

The second unit gives Monk the haphazard freedom that he can exert on the game with the second unit level players. The players who aren’t good enough to create on their own, who need a leader, someone to take over. Otherwise you have the pass it around until someone takes a shot of the third unit (Kessler, Colby, Mason, Duarte, I’ll add Sasha as well).

Anyhoo – I don’t believe he’s going to Orlando or Philly to be the starter with Suggs or Maxey. If they sign him, it’s to bolster their bench, just like in Sac.

Sac needs to have a stronger bench next season. It would be great to have Monk back to lead it.

Amonk81
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April 23, 2024 3:44 pm

Agree that Monk is not the starter type and him wanting to start lacks self awareness. Though I realize everyone wants to start. His role is Ginobili.

Monks D is below average at best and if he’s got the ball too much he turns it over. He needs guard rails and a coach who gets him to understand that closing is way more important than starting.

Kings-Rebuild
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April 23, 2024 8:19 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

So Monk is not the starter type but Huerter is. What exactly is the starter type.

Amonk81
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April 23, 2024 10:05 pm
Reply to  Kings-Rebuild

I never said Huerter is a starter. The opposite.

He should be on the bench too but for different reasons.

Jack
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April 25, 2024 7:37 am
Reply to  Amonk81

He should try to be traded.

PretendGhost
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April 24, 2024 1:10 pm
Reply to  Kings-Rebuild

Ellis is the starter type. Guy who understands his role and can fill a lot of gaps for the team. Isn’t afraid to take open shots but won’t dominate the ball otherwise. Takes pressure off his teammates with good 1 on 1 and team defense. Hustles on the boards, especially the offensive glass. Doesn’t foul a bunch. Can handle the ball and make the right pass in a pinch.

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April 24, 2024 2:59 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

Does your statement on Ellis – which I (mostly) agree – begat another question?

With the luster greatly lacking on Kevin Huerter’s season, we saw Malik Monk finishing games. And as most will attest – it matters more who is in at the end of games then who starts. I would be willing to throw conjecture that Malik Monk was happy, liking, expecting that he would be in on the closing minutes for Sacramento. With the advancement of Keon Ellis and his maybe starter status (whether or not Huerter returns), should we also expect Keon to be a closing minutes guy as well? Maybe that makes it a Fox/Monk/Ellis/Murray/Sabonis crunch time 5, maybe not.

Got five or six months to think about it.

Assuming nothing changes by then….

Jack
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April 25, 2024 7:41 am

If Monty and others think they have a plan then don’t wait too long, especially 5 months, or you could very easilly lose your plan. There are other teams out there that want to do some same things.

andy_sims
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April 23, 2024 12:57 pm

I hope Monk stays in Sacramento, for all of the reasons mentioned above. I just like the guy.

I can’t see anyone offering him $30 mil per year like Herro, but $25 mil isn’t completely far-fetched, and compared to what Sacramento can offer, that’s an additional thirty million over the course of a four-year deal. Even at an average of $22.5 mil, that’s still an extra twenty million, and I’d not be surprised to see offers in that range. No one faults a guy for leaning toward that kind of additional pay.

If Huerter returns to form, a decent possibility, I think, that goes a long way to mitigate losing Monk, but I’d leave Ellis as the starter. The sample size is legit; Keon makes the Kings a solid defensive team.

So, if that’s where things stand and Monk heads for ore-moneyed pastures, who would you want to target as a free agent or trade opportunity? I’d lean toward a guy Keegan’s size or bigger, who can defend a couple of positions, and has at least some ability to make plays for his teammates. Admittedly, those guys can be tough to come by, guys like Herb Jones or Trey Murphy, but the cost would be considerable.

Amonk81
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April 23, 2024 3:46 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I do not want Huerter. Returning to form means he’s useless (targeted on D) in the playoffs and doesn’t hit big shots.

There are alotta guys who can shoot the 3 and nothing else and more consistently than Heurter. He’s a bench guy at best.

Trade him and anyone on the roster pretty much to upgrade his spot and Barnes and the 4-D interior.

andy_sims
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April 24, 2024 10:16 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Want him or not, Sacramento has Huerter. He’s going to play, and whether that’s as a useful part of the rotation or to rebuild his value, Huerter is going to get minutes.

And as ever, I recommend against selling low.

AmateurNerd
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April 23, 2024 1:25 pm

The Monk decision is key not just for financial reasons, but for identity reasons as well. If Monk walks, the Kings lose their flamethrower, as well as a defensive sieve. The “next men up” in the backcourt are Mitchell and Ellis, with Duarte still technically present. All three are solid-to-great defenders with major offensive limitations (though Ellis has made strides). At that point, would it make more sense to try to replace Monk’s firepower, or go another direction and try to acquire a hard-nosed, plus defender / bruiser? This could completely change the Kings’ playing style, especially if Huerter is shipped off this summer to help acquire said player. The starting lineup would then include Sabonis (a bruiser), Barnes (a wily ol’ vet with old-man strength), Murray (ascending defensive force), New Player (defensive force), and Fox (league steals leader), with Ellis and Mitchell coming off the bench. Would this kind of identity — tough, bruising, maddening to play — actually fit better than the finesse, three-spraying style of the last 2 years?

Last edited 2 months ago by AmateurNerd
Hobby916
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April 23, 2024 1:49 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Spray 3s above all else. That is the way.

Amonk81
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April 23, 2024 3:49 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. last year, it was clear to all that huerter and barnes needed to be replaced or upgraded. They did nothing. Got lucky w Ellis-who is part of the answer perhaps.

You can’t have Barnes as your starter. He needs to come off the bench so he has some energy when it comes down to playoffs.

though, if they insist on sticking to the same bullshit again, they won’t make the playoffs.

eddie41
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April 23, 2024 6:59 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

if Monk leaves, they’d have to add another initiator. His 3-level scoring and pick and roll game were missed when he got injured. In the draft, the Kings could get a 6-9 shooting guard in Tristan Da Silva who can shoot from everywhere and is a playmaker, or they could get some point guard insurance with Tyler Kolek who can step in and run the same kind of plays with Sabonis as he did with Oso Ighodaro. I also like Kyle Filipowski if you buy into his outside shot.

Hope Monk stays.

eddie41
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April 24, 2024 9:21 am
Reply to  eddie41

eh, maybe not Kolek. just saw his game against UCONN. sorry about that.

but Da Silva could help make up for Monk’s absence if he leaves.

ScottyPop
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April 23, 2024 4:43 pm

I think he’s probably gone. Sucks because I don’t see how they come into next season with a better team sans Malik. On paper, anyway.

Tankathon
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April 23, 2024 5:29 pm

He was clear that he’d accept the role off the bench if that it is the best fit for the team so it might just come down to money and there are multiple teams with more money. He’s as good as gone.

Reading how he’s the emotional leader makes it tough and kind of has me looking at Fox little sideways though. If you’re not top 10 talent, can you afford to “lead by example”, especially if your game is predicated on getting your own.

Dan Houlder
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April 23, 2024 6:36 pm

The Kings arguably need Monk more than any other team does, plus he gets to play with Fox. The coaching staff has also shown immense confidence in Monk and given him a lot of freedom to grow his game.

But the Kings can’t offer as much as some other teams can.

Anyone who predicts what is going to happen is simply guessing, nothing more or less.

It’s this point, it’s all one can do.

Amonk81
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April 23, 2024 10:07 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Plus, I do think Monk pairs perfectly with Fox.

Dan Houlder
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April 23, 2024 10:22 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Couldn’t agree more.

ArcoThunder
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April 24, 2024 4:20 am

Time for some post season ramblings as I am finally not angry over the 6th loss to the Pelicans. Wait… maybe I still am. Yeah, I am. Monk no Monk, Zion no Zion, the kings needed that game, are more than capable of winning that game and simply failed. It’s crazy to me how the kings are either an elite 3pt shooting team or the worst in the league from one game to the next. It makes no sense but it is 100% the case with this team in the 2023/24 season. They shot 26% from 3pt range in pelicans elimination game 11/41!! 41!! That’s too many 3’s. That’s another problem. Figuring out a mid range game which many of the kings players are good at but isn’t being accentuated is something you can get upset about with Mike brown. I like mike brown and I want him to stay but he needs to rectify this issue. It likely fixes a lot of the problems and equals more wins. It’s that fact that makes me feel positive about next season even if the team is exactly the same minus Monk. While I would not like having the same team minus monk for next season (would really bother me), I do see a positive side of being better with making some adjustments to the offense in terms of how they are getting open shots. 30 3pt attempts instead of 41 3pt attempts against the Pelicans and the Kings win that game. Fox and Keegan taking some mid range pull up’s or floaters driving into the lane over letting it fly from deep and there it is. Maybe I’m over simplifying this but I do believe the outcome would change.

Now, what to do this offseason? Keep Monk!!! I really hope that’s the case. I feel like it’s about 60/40 he stays. I don’t think he will get offered significantly more money than what the Kings can offer and his fit here is perfect and I think he knows that. Should he be the starter and would that guarantee actually matter to him? If it does than guarantee it. Period. Him starting or coming off the bench doesn’t really matter that much in the end. Keon as your 3rd guard is the flexing point of this team getting significantly better. Not only is his skill set very good for what this team needs from a 3rd guard his contract is PRICELESS!! It’s arguably the most important asset on this roster if you want to be a contender. Starter caliber player for Pennies on the dollar. Well done Monty. You also have Mitchell and Colby Jones as a 4th guard option next season.

Have you noticed any name not present on that guard list? Kevin Huerter! I do like the guy but it should absolutely be priority # 1 to trade him in the off season for a true SF or PF. Huerter packaged with the #13 pick (player selected at 13 for the team you’re trading with then completing the deal) seems to me to be the best path forward.

if the player in that trade could slide right into the starting lineup along side Fox, Monk/Keon, Spock and Sabonis then you’re really on to something. In my opinion, that one move makes the team SIGNIFICANTLY better. Barnes would slide into a 6th man bench role where he would likely thrive and now you’re looking at a 50 win team.

I could go into several other trades I’d like to see happen but this is already long enough. The simple path to significant improvement is as I just stated. Trade Huerter packaged with a pick or not, packaged with Mitchell for example or not. If the player coming back in a Huerter trade isn’t a starting SF or PF, I would still say the team improves. That player will still make the bench much deeper.

In that scenario I think I would like to see Lyle’s starting over Barnes. I truly believe sliding Barnes into a bench role makes this team take a major leap forward. If Monk leaves as a free agent I think it’s absolutely essential. Post ups and other actions to get Barnes looks at the basket in the second unit could make up for the loss of a go to scorer in the second unit if (god please no!) Monk leaves.

Ramble on my friends. Ramble on.

Go Kings!

Now I can start looking at who the Kings should draft at 13 if they don’t package it in the Huerter trade that needs to happen. Hahaha

Last edited 2 months ago by ArcoThunder
SelecaoKOJ
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April 24, 2024 5:35 am

The Kings clearly overpaid for Sabonis. Which is fine. But Sabonis has never made any impact in the playoffs. He is what he is. A great regular season player who will always be exposed in the playoffs.

Monk is not staying because he loves it in Sac. This is a business.

Mink will get paid: A number of teams will step up that offer more money, an equally competitive or better team, and even a starting opportunity.

Miami: Has cap, no state tax and an opportunity to play for consistent greatness.An amazing coach and Riles.

Orlando: A team with unlimited ceiling. A couple shooters away from being a real championship contender.

Spurs: Tons-of cap, picks, assets and an opportunity to play with a legend. In Pops and future legend Wemby.

Knicks: The opportunity to play for an automatic contender. Monks shooting would make that team unstoppable.

Philly: An opportunity to play with Embiid and Maxey.

Detroit: A team that is a mess. But if any team can offer him 30 mil per this is it. They are 80 mil under the cap. They may not offer a winning situation. But they can automatically offer twice what the Kings can and a starting role. And if you think Detroit wouldn’t t do it, think again. This is Detroit we’re talking about.

Don’t kid yourself. Monk is putting the Bag first. His agent will force his hand once way or the other.

VAking
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April 24, 2024 6:30 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Yup, go get paid. He’s earned it. Wish he’d have started just once for us. Wondering what that would’ve looked like.

RobHessing
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April 24, 2024 8:35 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

A great regular season player who will always be exposed in the playoffs.

I respectfully disagree, as this statement is based on a singular playoff series. And if you are counting the play in games, Sabonis was solid and won his position vs. GS, and also played closer to his top end than anyone else on the team in the NO game.

Also, the guy was better this season than the previous season, as we saw flashes of a right hand that had not been seen before. And while he does not shoot often from beyond the arc (basically one per game), he did convert at a rate that was above the team average, almost 38%. He turns 28 next month. I’m not sure why we should think that he is done growing his game. His mid-range game needs work. Is there a reason to think that he won’t put in the work to get better? Have we seen anything from this man that would lead us to believe that he is not about getting better, or that he is lacking in work ethic?

Apparently, the Kings can offer 4/$78m. The four years is an important component, as I think that at least a couple of teams that you list would balk at a fourth year. I could see higher rate, lower term offers, and it is not out of the realm of possibility that someone offers him 3/$75m, for example.

The trick will be fit.

Miami does not have cap space. They are sitting on over $180m in payroll for next year.

Orlando is a viable threat.

Spurs are a viable threat.

The Knicks really only have cap room for Monk if OG walks.

Philly does have cap space, but they also have only Embiid (and a partial guarantee to Paul Reed) under contract. They have a lot of roster to fill, starting with re-signing Maxey. Monk probably ranks around ten on the FA list, depending on the actions of OG, Siakam, LeBron, PG13, DeRozan and Harden. So while Philly is certainly a potential destination, it will depend on how that upper tier FAs fall into place, and it will be interesting to see how long Monk wants to wait while that process plays out.

Yeah, he’s not going to Detroit.

I have it at 50/50. It only takes one team to make an offer that the Kings can’t match, but Monk is also an undersized two guard that does not defend well, which limits his appeal as a starter. This means that most of his suitors will want him in the sixth man role that his game is absolutely suited for, and the price historically for such players does not run into the range that would take the Kings out of the conversation. But again, it just takes one.

Last edited 2 months ago by RobHessing
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April 24, 2024 3:23 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Malik Monk in New York with Thibodeau – might be worth those hefty MSG prices just to sit on the sidelines and see that.

rockbottom
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April 24, 2024 7:44 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Sabonis is a top 4 at worst starting center and it amazes me to think somehow this team could improve by moving him . I agree with the actual facts that he was better this season and was very solid in playin games and always available and a truly great competitor .

Hobby916
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April 24, 2024 7:43 am

I have two issues with Monk as a player: Turnovers and Defense.

Would the team be better off with a more steady handed player like Monte Morris (for example)? Make the “right” play instead of the fancy gamble, which should translate to less turnovers.

Defensively, Monk is pretty bad. He allows defenders to just blow by him, which puts the other 4 guys in help positions, which ultimately leaves opponents open for 3s.

I like Monk, he has done a lot for the Kings, and would like to see him return. However, there is this thought in my mind that he is the “J-Will” on this roster and they need a “Bibby” to settle things down at times. Either way, it will be an interesting couple of months to see what happens.

Adamsite
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April 24, 2024 7:57 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I feel it’s more than that, he’s also just barely an average shooter. The league average for 3pt shooting this year 35.1%. Monk shot 35%. Folks like to point a lot of fingers at Huerter and how he “hurts” the team. Kevin just had his worst shooting season of his career and he still shot 36.1% from three. Sure he’s not a good defender…but neither his Monk. Look at the number and guess which on is better on that end of the floor. It ain’t Monk

The only things Monk does better than Huerter is facilitate and attack the rim, even then they both shot an identical 44.3% from the field. For folks looking to cast away Huerter and do anything to retain Monk, I urge you to really look their impacts to the team. The gap isn’t all that wide. I’d even argue both are replaceable at a likely lower cost, and a lot of that has to do with Keon Ellis.

Kfan
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April 24, 2024 8:14 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I’d like to keep Monk around for 15-17 starting and keep him as 6th man backing up Keon.

I’d move Heurter and anyone not Fox, Ox, Kee, Ke or Monk to upgrade the last starting spot and go from there. I think a stretch 4/5 that can create a bit and play D makes us a solid playoff team.

Hobby916
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April 24, 2024 8:23 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, that too. Huerter at least has some size. He also moves off the ball well, just doesn’t facilitate/run the PnR like Monk.

So if Monk signs elsewhere, that’s fine with me.

eddie41
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April 24, 2024 9:45 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I like both Monk and Huerter. Both play well with Sabonis. Both can shoot from everywhere on the court. Both can make plays. Both can be utilized in different ways when the coaches implement new plays to improve the half court offense. Huerter can play SF.

andy_sims
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April 24, 2024 10:22 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Solid points all the way around.

RobHessing
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April 24, 2024 8:56 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I think that Monk checks a lot of boxes. He is instant offense off of a bench that otherwise lacks such firepower, he runs a really nice two man game with Sabonis (note that Sabonis’ numbers took a bit of a hit when Monk got hurt), and I think that he fits well into the emotional construct of the roster.

The bigger concern that I have in losing Monk is that you cannot replace him financially. The Kings can exceed the cap to re-sign Monk. They cannot exceed the cap to sign any other free agent, other than using their MLE, which will probably come in at around 3/$40m. In other words, Monk walks, and your best case scenario might be Tyus Jones (and there will be other suitors for Jones)or Markelle Fultz or a wing like Royce O’Neale. Now, you can re-sign Monk and still sign O’Neale to the MLE, so which version is better: Monk and O’Neale, or (pick only one), Jones, Fultz, or O’Neale? That is the quandary that the Kings find themselves in.

Hobby916
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April 24, 2024 9:00 am
Reply to  RobHessing

That quandary is accurate. Bringing him back makes the most sense as the avenue for continuing to fill out the roster becomes easier.

Adamsite
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April 24, 2024 9:17 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Those financial implications are incredibly important. Retaining Monk is not just keeping the player we all like, it also it’s also a contractual placeholder that allows the Kings to spend above the cap. It can’t be stressed enough that the only way a team can spend above the cap is to retain assets through bird rights/extensions, or use exceptions.

That all being said, if Monk takes the full early bird rights and Monte uses the full MLE, it puts the King right at the tax line before adding any vet minimum
deals or their possible rookie contracts

The Kings have not crossed the tax threshold in the Vivek era. Will he sign off on it?

RobHessing
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April 24, 2024 9:28 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Good question. Re-signing Monk would put them at 12 players. A draft pick or two puts you at 14. The MLE guy puts you at 15. Certainly no breathing room there. I could see the Kings – if they retain Monk – eschew the MLE and go bargain bin hunting. Bring Len back, see if you can get O’Neale, Oubre, Kyle Anderson, Derrick Jones Jr., etc. for less than the MLE.

Maximus
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April 25, 2024 10:30 am
Reply to  Adamsite

if Monk takes the full early bird rights and Monte uses the full MLE, it puts the King right at the tax line before adding any vet minimum

deals or their possible rookie contracts

The Kings are going to be hard-capped at the first apron which is about 178M. The current roster is 151M and assuming the 13th pick’s salary is 4M per year, which means they have 23M left to spend for Monk’s new contract, and the MLE. If Monk is signed for 17M per year then they can only access 6M of the MLE.

If they want full access of the MLE and they would have to trade a combination of the 13th pick, Davion, Duarte or Vezenkhov.

The Kings have not crossed the tax threshold in the Vivek era. Will he sign off on it?

This is a great question. Really the most realistic way to avoid the tax is not to re-sign Monk.
So I think re-signing Monk is a financial issue.

andy_sims
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April 24, 2024 10:37 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Royce O’Neale is a very interesting possibility, but I wish he was a few inches taller than 6’4″. That said, getting him with the MLE still sounds like a win.

Fultz is interesting, too, although he can’t shoot worth shit, and his defensive numbers aren’t great given that Orlando’s defense was pretty respectable. So, perhaps less interesting than I thought when I began typing that sentence.

Any possibility that if Milwaukee exits in the first round again that Bobby Portis could be gettable in a shakeup? Giannis is out, but given how Indiana housed the Bucks pretty good all season, management may not see that as a good enough excuse to not make moves.

Last edited 2 months ago by andy_sims
RobHessing
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April 24, 2024 10:49 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I would love Portis, but he is a valuable piece for the Bucks, and cheap on top of that. And they really don’t have anyone else on their roster that replicates what he does. But he checks a crapton of boxes for the Kings. I would love him.

andy_sims
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April 24, 2024 11:34 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Not counting the league’s stars, I think Portis is the easiest guy to imagine plugging into the Kings’ rotation and making a huge difference. All of his strengths are areas of need in Sacramento.

Portis eating those PF/stretch 4 minutes with Keegan beating up on wings would be incredibly successful.

rockbottom
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April 24, 2024 7:51 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Royce is 6-6. 226

Jack
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April 25, 2024 7:57 am
Reply to  rockbottom

Jalen Smith is 6’10” rebounds, protects the weakside rim,and stretches the floor shooting at a 40% clip. Also has not reached his potential yet. IMO a whole lot better than an old Royce, PS The Pacers coach told Smith he would be a starter next year. That says something and the Pacers can’t even get close to what the Kings could offer.

eddie41
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April 24, 2024 10:00 am

while we’re on the topic of what to do if Monk leaves, this might be a good time to look at how to improve the Fox-Domas tandem. Does anyone have the stats on how often they assist each other in pick n roll, success rate, etc., and in other two-man actions? and could Domas be utilized more in pick n pop like Brad Miller? I mean, the team is building around Fox and Domas, right?

Hobby916
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April 24, 2024 10:03 am
Reply to  eddie41

From what I have heard and read, they don’t seem to have much of a two-man game. The pick n pop would work, but Domas has to want to shoot that jumper, and history shows that he is reluctant to do that.

RobHessing
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April 24, 2024 10:12 am
Reply to  Hobby916

That’s where the corner three option comes in. You PnR, and if it’s no there the gravity of Fox may pull the defender in from the corner on that side, leaving a Murray or Ellis open. But to your point, Sabonis adding the elbow jumper would be huge.

eddie41
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April 24, 2024 10:24 am
Reply to  RobHessing

or a set shot 3 from the top of the key.

Jack
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April 25, 2024 8:03 am
Reply to  eddie41

He can do that too. Just think of the possibilities by just shooting the midrange how it would open the middle for cuts, backdoors or with Smith a high low game?

Hobby916
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April 24, 2024 10:34 am
Reply to  RobHessing

The elbow jumper would vastly open the court for his teammates. The cutting lanes to the rim would be there, and now the paint tends to be more clogged than it needs to be.

Jack
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April 25, 2024 8:00 am
Reply to  RobHessing

And Sabonis can do it too. His mechanics are really good. IMO he needs to be more selfish in that area. Has all summer to work on that.

Hobby916
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April 25, 2024 8:17 am
Reply to  Jack

Mechanics look fine, he just seems slow to get in to the shot, like he has to think about the mechanics of the shot instead of just letting it fly.

Jack
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April 25, 2024 2:19 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

IMO most of that time is looking for cutters, back doors and handoffs. Getting him to be more selfish IMO mis the way to go.

Hozr
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April 27, 2024 3:12 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I don’t it’s selfishness so much as it is confidence. He just doesn’t look confident to me when he takes that shot.

Maximus
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April 24, 2024 11:05 am
Reply to  eddie41

Here are Fox’s passes
https://www.nba.com/stats/player/1628368/passes-dash?dir=D&sort=AST

Here are Domas’s
https://www.nba.com/stats/player/1628368/passes-dash?dir=D&sort=AST

Here are Monk’s
https://www.nba.com/stats/player/1628368/passes-dash?dir=D&sort=AST

Here is an extra one. This is P&R possession as a finisher
https://www.nba.com/stats/players/ball-handler?CF=TEAM_ABBREVIATION*E*sac&dir=D&sort=POSS

I can’t find any other stats that shows how often each assists another in a P&R situation.

kings4ever
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April 24, 2024 3:25 pm

Based on his exit interview, sounds like he’s gone. Adios muchacho. Thanks for the memories, ocassional thrills and crappy defense.

Malik said the head coach did NOT elevate his game.

He was keen to make that clear. BOOM, shots fired over the bow. Direct hit!
 
Malik is “turning over everything to his agent”. I interpet that to mean, go get me the most money you can, get me a writing utensil, and where do I sign?”. He was adamant to say that winning 6MOY “mean everything to him, that’s all he can think about over last few weeks”.
 
This admission validates the point RE: selfishness and debate I was having a few posts ago. Dude was chasing stats, jacking 3s and insisting on high risk passes. Took careless chances on defense to try to get steals and blocks that drove his coach bananas.
 
The number of negatives outweighed the positives once his three ball deserted him, distracted by a worthless piece of hardware. At best it was a wash. I like how he was deemed a leader in the locker room. Oh, not a bad feather in your cap, or is it? Was his leadership prevalent in the losses to WAS SAS DET and CHA, and self-implosion vs MIL and PHX that cost us the 6th seed?
 
With leaders like this who needs followers?

Follow me guys, our destination is on the other side of this cliff.
 
I like his energy spirit and candor. He does have an infectious and winning personality. Not sure about the drop earrings and wardrobe choices two and three sizes too big, but I digress. Funamentally there is not enough restraint or discipline or two way attributes to be part of an elite core. A creative scorer needs to be allowed to be creative, I get it. But fundamentals matter more than flare.
 
In 1872 minutes, Malik had 96 deflections. In 978 minutes, Keon had 104 deflections.

In half the minutes, Keon had 8 more deflections for 2X the rate.

We were 1.6 points worse with Malik on the floor per 100 possessions.

We were 5.5 points better with Keon on the floor per 100 posessions.

Look at the struggles we had finding consistent 9th and 10th men in our rotation, with Kessler, Sasha, McGee, Duarte all underperforming. How is it given these rotational inconsistencies we were still better with Malik off the floor? This is a rhetorical question. The answer is defense and TOVs and 30% from deep once he became obsessed with 6MOY.
 
Per Deuce Mason, the Kings were 3rd in defense rating and 13th in offensive rating in 24 games with Keon in the rotation. Is 1/4 the of the season relevant to the SSS committee?

We were only 13-11 during this stretch due to late game execution issues. But if you have a Top 3 defense and a Top 15 offense, you will be a 50 win plus team.

The Doomers do not know what to do with this stat. Neither does Malik’s agent.
 
We were 5th in defensive rating without Malik in 10 games and 9th in offensive rating, another quantitative quandry for player representative. For context we were 13th in O- Rating and 14th in D- Rating on the season. How important could the guy be when we were arguably better in his absence?

The tailspin at the end of the regular season is not definitive proof he was missed. His presence could have meant we just found another way to lose games with competition level was at its apex.
 
Malik said in his exit interview we would still be playing if he did not get hurt. Perhaps but would we have destroyed the Warriors, playing a near perfect defensive game exceeding any performance with him as a participant?
 
A main reason we had a flawless defensive performance was only 8 TOVs and limiting Curry to 16 FGAs. NO way with Malik trying to guard and create do we minimize the TOVS and shot attempts, holding Clank to a goose egg, and coasting to the glorious win.
 
There is a comment below that Monk and Fox are the perfect fit. On offense, they had their moments.On defense, absolutely not. What is more important? Offense or defense. Defense wins. Two way players win. To have an elite Top 5 defense you can afford NO more than 2-3 below average to average defenders in your rotation. Ideally, zero to one, max.
 
Fox – Monk – Domas as a 3-man combination with any two other players have a net rating of -.6.7 points per 100 possession in ~500 minutes. This stat alone should give the team pause about bringing Monk back at ANY price, certainly any promise of starting.
 
Fox – Keon – Domas as a 3-man combination have a net rating of plus 2.7 points per 100 possessions in ~400 minutes.

In other words, the Kings are 9.4 points better per 100 possession by swapping out Monk for Keon, before factoring the other two spots on the floor.
 
When our team surged defensively the only below average defender in the rotation was HB. Before Huerter and Monk went down, we had three below average defenders playing a lot of minutes. The opponent always had a weak link to exploit or a malleable area to probe. It was a smorgesburg of sponginess. 

When Fox was accused of waning effort, it seems like it coincides with wanker teammates (Buddy, Bagley, Huerter) trying to guard. I’ve said it many times, roster construction is all about complementing your best players, that is your foremost priority, and that insisting on more effort and focus on defense means little if the talent is not there.
 
Multiple bad defenders necessitate playing more zone, being less switchable. You have to resort to junk defense when a teammate constantly gets beat. Or you have to get into track meet and hot streaks. You outshoot the opposition or require clutch heroics. We have seen enough of the limitations of this approach to conclude, “been there done that”, there has to be a better way.
 
Or better yet there has to be a way when you do not shoot lights out. Well, we found that way. And that is the problem with players like Monk and Huerter and HB. When they are not scoring they are not contributing. So you cannot litter your rotation with these type of players and expect to get to where you want to go.

There is NO going back from the GSW Play-In win. That was the pinnacle. That was our championship. The was retribution, the stomped becoming the stomper, the death of a dynasty by our blade, or beam if you prefer. This was the vision for what this team can be against all comers, not just the splat brothers. The execution during this game was the blueprint. If Keegan and Keon repeated their peformance versus NOP, maybe we are still playing.
 
As an aside Keegan is 62% TS% and 42% in 77 home games (15 PPG) in two seasons. Keegan is 54% TS% and 35% from 3s in 80 road games (12 PPG). We needed Keegan to replicate the game vs GSW at NOP. The history and Trey Murphy said ‘highly unlikely’. Unless Domas was going to start making jumpers (like he did vs POR) or Davion and Lyles scored well over their norms, or Fox lost his mind and went for 50, there was NO way for us to win if Keegan was normal road self.
 
Despite what he says Malik does not solve this problem because what he giveth he taketh away. We are NOT going anywhere with THREE lousy defenders, Malik included, Huerter and HB, regardless of the length we may add. It is a SHITTY plan to try to bring back Malik unless you get rid of HB and Huerter, adding defenders in their place, so you limit the poor defenders in your rotation to one (Malik).
 
Malik as a starter is a non-starter. Malik is not more important than Fox, and it is important for Fox to have a defender like Keon next to him, unleashing his lethality, the NBA leader in steals and deflection.

Just like the Doomers do not know what do with the Net Rating stats in the last 6 weeks, the Fox critics do not know what do with him leading the NBA in steals and deflections while posting career high in points at 26.6 PPG.

My gut and rational mind tells Malik is good as gone, happy trails to you, and this would be for the best for him and the direction and evolution of the team we glimpsed vs GSW. Get ready for his departure, Kings fans. Then when it happens for real it won’t sting so hard.

andy_sims
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April 24, 2024 4:31 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Not sure about the drop earrings and wardrobe choices two and three sizes too big, but I digress.

Hah, okay, I understand now.

But in general, I find your analysis sound. Under the circumstances, Monk would be a luxury that the Kings can’t afford, given that the basics haven’t yet been covered.

kingarthur916world
April 24, 2024 6:11 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

All of this might be true, but any stats after the All Star break, the kings can’t just lean on it.

Also, the kings need to let huerter and the monk go. The kings should resign monk and trade him. Not just let him leave for nothing.

Dan Houlder
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April 25, 2024 5:48 am
Reply to  kings4ever

As usual, I disagree with virtually every opinion that you wrote.

And your prediction about Monk’s departure might go as well as your prediction of a Kings win over New Orleans.

Adamsite
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April 25, 2024 10:15 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

You really can’t disagree with the numbers though, and the numbers show the Fox/Domas/Monk combination on the floor was not good.

Jack
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April 25, 2024 8:05 am
Reply to  kings4ever

You should write a book on this. Wait maybe you did.

cwebb2bibby
April 25, 2024 1:12 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

This comment is psychotic

Kfan
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April 24, 2024 4:11 pm

Monk finished 2nd in 6th man voting to Naz Reid

Hobby916
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April 24, 2024 5:36 pm
Reply to  Kfan

His 2nd half 3pt percentage came back to bit him in the ass.

Dan Houlder
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April 25, 2024 5:49 am
Reply to  Kfan

If he didn’t get injured, he wins it in a cakewalk.

The odds swung drastically in the final month.

SelecaoKOJ
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April 24, 2024 6:22 pm

Subjective Kings fans won’t understand why Monk did not win.

Monk was deserving. But Nas has a much bigger impact on the defensive end.And it’s not close. 
Monk is pretty bad to awful defensively. Monk is the better offensive player. But not by much.
15.4 to 13.5. Meaning Nas was a more complete player than Monk. 

Most Kings fans don’t watch every Minny game. So being subjective is no surprise.

Dan Houlder
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April 25, 2024 5:50 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

The only reason Monk didn’t in 6MOY is because he got injured. Nothing more, nothing less.

He was dominating the field until that point.

Jack
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April 25, 2024 8:08 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Not sounding boastful I wanted Reid back 2 years ago. Just ask Murraytant.

eddie41
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April 25, 2024 10:49 am

Think I found another draftable player at 13. Tidjane Salaun. young but has upside to develop into a modern nba forward who can shoot and switch on D.

Hobby916
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April 25, 2024 10:54 am
Reply to  eddie41

I bet he is one of the guys that shoots up draft boards. Size and decent shooting will tantalize teams. Probably be in the projected top 10 come draft week.

eddie41
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April 25, 2024 11:33 am
Reply to  Hobby916

what do you think of DaRon Holmes? he seems draftable at 13 also.

cwebb2bibby
April 25, 2024 2:08 pm
Reply to  eddie41

You found him? All by yourself? Does Monte know yet?

eddie41
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April 25, 2024 2:39 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

yeah, I flew to France to see him in person.

Kfan
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April 25, 2024 3:47 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Did his mom cut his steak?

eddie41
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April 25, 2024 4:41 pm
Reply to  Kfan

ha! I actually had Rubio #2 on my board. Griffin 1. Curry 3.

Jman1949
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April 25, 2024 3:57 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Tankathon lists him as the Kings’ pick at #13 in their mock draft.

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