In the first few preseason games, Malik Monk was the bright spot of the Laker's blowout losses. In the Lakers second preseason loss last week to the Suns, Monk had a team-high 18 points on 7-11 shooting and 4-7 from deep.
Injuries have already started to weigh the Lakers down, as they have lost Ariza for at least the next two months, and with Talen Horton-Tucker going to miss time with surgery to repair his injured thumb, this is concerning.
Thankfully, it's expected that he won't miss too much time.
If they manage it well, a groin pull should be an injury he comes back from within a week or so. The Lakers are hoping he will be available for opening day. In early preseason game returns, Monk has been instant offense and good defense on the other end. He has a great outside shot and long arms to play passing lanes and pick people's pockets.
Before this injury, Monk was making his case for being in the starting five. Even if he misses the first few games and a chance to make the starting five, Monk showed last season especially that he is instant offense off the bench, and so that is encouraging for the Lakers.
For now, guys like Kent Bazemore and Kendrick Nunn are making their cases for being in the starting lineup. Bazemore especially has been a defensive monster in the preseason. His defensive energy has lead to a lot of good scoring opportunities as well. Nunn has also played well. Presumably, the Lakers want Carmelo Anthony coming off the bench, but his preseason performance has been very impressive.