As one of only three players to play at least 65 games this season, Malik Monk was one of the few reliable pieces for the Lakers. That reliability came despite moving back and forth between the starting lineup and the bench as his role fluctuated based on which Lakers were available and which were injured.
That change in role didn’t impact his production throughout the year and during his exit interview, Monk spoke about whether he had a preference between starting or coming off the bench.
“Not really man,” Monk said. “It’s whatever the team wants me to do. I’m comfortable with whatever they want me to do.”
There were pretty minimal differences between Monk’s statistics off the bench versus as a starter. He was a marginally better field goal shooter off the bench — barely one percent — but did shoot 7.3 percent better from the 3-point line as a starter.
As a result, when looking at his per-36 minute averages, Monk averaged 3.2 points more per-36 minutes as a starter versus a reserve, That is effectively the only difference in stats, aside from +/- in which Monk had a higher average as a reserve.
Overall, Monk was productive no matter what his role was this season and, as a result, will have many suitors on the free agent market this season. That won’t change his mindset heading into the offseason and a new season overall.
“I really feel about the same man,” Monk said, “because I don’t want to get too high on myself and feel like I deserve something way more than I do so I’ll just come in like I did last year, like I had no offers, so I can work a little harder than I did and just try to get way more all-around with everything.”
His versatility in terms of role will allow many teams to pursue him, whether a title-contender looking for a bench piece or a less competitive team looking for a starting-caliber guard.
His desire to stay in Los Angeles will be helpful in the Lakers’ pursuit of keeping him but his versatility will mean there will be multiple teams chasing him with them.