Following a breakout year with the Charlotte Hornets in which Malik Monk shot a career best 40.1% from three and showed improvement on both ends of the ball, the team decided not to tender him a qualifying contract offer and made him a free agent.
In stepped the Los Angeles Lakers and general manager Rob Pelinka, who were starving for more shooting and potentially dynamic offensive assets. Monk certainly fit the bill, having scored more than 20 points on eight occasions last season, and more than 30 points two other times.
Despite that production and promise, the team was still able to sign Monk to a veteran’s minimum deal, and he expressed his rationale for the decision at his introductory press conference:
“The environment, man,” Monk said of why he joined the Lakers. “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. I’m still learning, I’m still going through life too.
“I’m 23. So these guys have been doing it a lot longer, and so I can ask a 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.”
So could he potentially be the best signing of the summer? I went through the data and film to break down his game, and his fit with the Lakers:
The Lakers will hope that Monk’s game continues to trend as positively as it did last season, but within the positive, professional environment of the Lakers that Monk so desperately wanted, that seems like a safe bet.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.