On a Spotify Live appearance with Marc Stein, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said he has heard there’s mutual interest between the Kings and Malik Monk in free agency (hat tip to Talkin’ NBA). Monk played college ball at Kentucky with De’Aaron Fox, so there’s obviously a connection between the two athletic guards.
Monk had a career-year in his first season with the Lakers last season, averaging 13.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 2.9 APG on .473/.391/.795 shooting in 76 games (37 starts, 28.1 MPG). He’s reportedly looking for a role where he can receive significant minutes and “be himself,” as he told Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
The Kings could offer Monk the mid-level exception, projected to be worth about $10.5MM next season, which is significantly more than the Lakers can offer (taxpayer MLE — $6.5MM).
Here are more rumors ahead of free agency, which kicks off in less than 17 hours:
- Fischer also reports (hat tip to Talkin’ NBA) that in addition to Denver, Detroit and Washington, the Bulls are in the mix for Victor Oladipo. Fischer previously wrote that Oladipo was unlikely to remain with Miami.
- John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix hears (via Twitter) that Suns backup center JaVale McGee is looking for a multiyear deal, with the Bucks, Mavericks and Nets interested in his services. Gambadoro adds that he’s unsure if Phoenix would go for a two-year deal to re-sign McGee, who was highly productive (9.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 1.1 BPG) in a reserve role with the Suns last season (74 games, 15.8 MPG).
- Patty Mills is expected to draw “significant interest” on the free agent market after declining his player option, but he hasn’t ruled out a return to the Nets, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Brian Lewis of The New York Post hears Mills and his wife enjoyed their time in Brooklyn, but it’s possible he could get a more lucrative offer elsewhere.
- Sources tell Marc Stein (via Twitter) that Isaiah Hartenstein hasn’t ruled out a return to the Clippers, stating that it’s “well-known among rival teams” with interest in the center that he might re-sign with Los Angeles. Lewis hears similarly, with sources close to the 24-year-old telling The Post that “he loves” playing for the Clips. The main issue is the Clippers are reportedly using their taxpayer MLE to sign John Wall, so they’ll be extremely limited in what they can offer Hartenstein. Stein previously reported that the Magic are the “leading suitor” for Hartenstein, who has also been linked to the Bulls, Raptors and Rockets.