What Could Athletic 6th Man of the Year Candidate Malik Monk Bring to Spurs in Free Agency?

After two seasons with the Sacramento Kings, Malik Monk is fairly sold on the idea of returning this offseason, but in the case that he decides to look elsewhere, how likely could a Spurs pairing be?
Mar 7, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) reacts after the Kings defeated the San Antonio Spurs at the Golden 1 Center.
Mar 7, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) reacts after the Kings defeated the San Antonio Spurs at the Golden 1 Center. / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

All signs point toward a reunion between uber-athletic guard Malik Monk and the Sacramento Kings.

It's not a far-fetched idea, especially considering Monk has notched career best numbers in just his second season with the team — two years removed from betting on himself in the offseason and choosing to leave the LeBron-James-led Los Angeles Lakers for a younger Kings team.

With Sacramento, Monk has never started a game. He's averaged 13.5 and 15.4 points per game, respectively, and improved both his assist totals and stocks per game as a result of a bigger role with the Kings. Thusly, he'd like to return. And is that surprising?

"I'm comfortable in Sacramento," Monk said of his upcoming free agency. "I'd love to play here again, for sure. I've been here for two years and made friends with everyone, including the training staff and front office. I'd love to be back here."

March 16, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) dribbles the basketball during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Golden 1 Center.
March 16, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) dribbles the basketball during the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Golden 1 Center. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento has every reason to bring back one of the quickest, most explosive scorers in the league. Despite last season's breakdown, the Kings are very much a team worthy of contention behind Damontas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox.

Monk is a supporting character more than anything else, but he's one of the best around, even garnering enough votes to make him the runner-up for the SIxth Man of the Year award. That alone is a reason to not only want him back, but be willing to bring him back.

But, free agency goes awry all the time. That's where the San Antonio Spurs swoop in.

Let's say that Monk isn't impressed with the initial contract offer from Sacramento. Let's say he decides that it might be time to search elsewhere for a fair deal and a big role.

How feasible would it be for the veteran to make his way to San Antonio?

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

READ MORE: Would Spurs Go In On Lauri Markkanen Deal With Jazz?

Telling. There's such thing as "woeful language." Monk used the word could, which on its own opens the door. The Spurs have one of the highest salary caps this upcoming season, two lottery picks and a 7-foot-4 generational big man waiting for his second-in command.

Devin Vassell is a strong candidate to grow into that role as he continues to develop, but even with him, the Spurs are inclined to look for a veteran. A player who doesn't need to be the center of attention, and who cares about fostering relationships with his teammates.

Feb 14, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) and forward Domantas Sabonis (10) and guard De'Aaron Fox (5) react in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.
Feb 14, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) and forward Domantas Sabonis (10) and guard De'Aaron Fox (5) react in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

That's who Monk is. On the court, he brings a level of energy fit for the best teams in the NBA. He knows how to score from mid range, dunk with authority and can out-run just about any player put in front of him. His numbers — which peaked during his most recent season with the Kings — are still able to be improved, and alongside Victor Wembanyama, they could increase even more as defenses are forced to pay attention to the Spurs' rising sophomore.

Monk could get payed in San Antonio, find an organization as committed to him as he would be to them and thrive on the floor. He's a veteran with still plenty of years to go on his career.

So, while he's certainly married to the idea of continuing his career in Sacramento, there are other options for him to consider. And with Wembanyama only set to get better, San Antonio is a hard locaction to turn down.

All signs are pointing toward a reunion between Monk and the Kings, yes. But no deal is done yet.

That much is still in the air.


Published |Modified
Matt Guzman

MATT GUZMAN

Matt Guzman is a sports journalist and storyteller from Austin, Texas. He serves as a credentialed reporter and site manager for San Antonio Spurs On SI and a staff writer for multiple collegiate sites in the same network. In the world of professional sports, he is a firm believer that athletes are people, too, and intends to tell stories of players and teams’ true, behind-the-scenes character that otherwise would not be seen through strong narrative writing, hooking ledes and passionate words.