Los Angeles Lakers guard Malik Monk is currently more valuable than every single player in the NBA based on his salary this season. Monk is getting paid the league minimum to jumpstart one of the NBA’s worst offenses (23rd in offensive rating!).
Thanks in large part due to Monk’s offensive brilliance, the Lakers now have a winning record and are firmly in the playoff picture halfway through the season. Monk has been a bright spot in the midst of many dark moments for the Lakers.
During the Lakers’ four-game win streak, he has averaged 23.3 points per game while shooting over 50 percent from three-point range. The Lakers have outscored their opponents by double digits whenever Monk has been on the court during this win streak.
He has developed wonderful chemistry with LeBron James. Monk has finally learned to get his shots within the flow of how LeBron controls the game.
Oh, and by the way, Monk is having a career year defensively. His defensive rating is several points ahead of superstars such as Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, and Trae Young.
He also rates far better than Sacramento guard Buddy Hield, the sharpshooting guard the Lakers could have traded for instead of Russell Westbrook. If Hield had joined the Lakers, Monk likely would not have had the same opportunity to flourish as a starter.
Hield certainly does not have the same off-the-bounce juice that Monk has in spades. And Monk has a higher three-point shooting percentage.
Monk should have been in high demand in free agency this offseason as a player who can provide instant offense coming off the bench.
Somehow, the Lakers were the only team to pursue him in free agency. He was honest as to how he felt after only the Lakers wanted him.
"“And it kind of hit me hard when nobody really wanted me besides the Lakers so I just put fuel in my tank and just held it in until I get time to play and prove I belong for long periods of time, and that’s what I’m doing right now. But yeah, it was hard for me."
Malik Monk rose from humble beginnings to become the next Lakers star
Monk’s journey to get to the Lakers was filled with twists and turns. Throughout much of his life, he has had to live in a spotlight as bright as the Los Angeles skyline.
Here is just a glimpse of the life and career of Malik Monk.