Pacific Notes: Monk, Murray, Lakers, LaVine, Booker

Kings guard Malik Monk isn’t fretting over the fact that he’s in his walk year, he told Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. Monk is the only Sacramento rotation player in the final year of his contract.

“I really don’t worry about that. Because I know if I just go out there and perform how I perform, and do the things I’ve been doing, it’ll work out for me,” Monk said.

Monk, who is averaging 13.2 points and 5.0 assists, is making $9.9MM this season. He’s in line for a substantial raise and that could cause issues for the Kings, Biderman notes. They are expected to be approximately $20MM below the luxury tax next summer and will have to weigh whether to approach or surpass that figure in order to re-sign Monk.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Keegan Murray was able to go through a full practice on Monday, according to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link), but the second-year forward remained sidelined for Tuesday’s game against Golden State, KTXL’s Sean Cunningham tweets. He’s been nagged by irritation to the sacroiliac joint in his lower back.
  • Expect the Lakers to express interest in the Bulls’ Zach LaVine, Shams Charania said on FanDuel TV (Twitter link). However, Charania believes the Lakers will take a “patient” approach and wouldn’t be able to swing that type of deal until some of the free agents they signed over the summer become trade-eligible. Charania believes the Bulls would demand the Lakers’ top young guard. “The Bulls, I’m sure, would covet Austin Reaves in any potential Zach LaVine trade,” he said.
  • With Chris Paul gone, Suns star Devin Booker has taken on the dual roles of being a top scorer and primary play-maker. He’s thriving with the added responsibility, Gerald Bourguet of notes. Booker is averaging 29.4 points, 8.9 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game and is scoring efficiently. “He came in scoring 70 against the Celtics pretty early in his career, so yeah, I don’t wanna say he’s just grown and grown as a scorer,” coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s always kind of had that killer instinct, but I think leadership, seeing all the different coverages that you see as an elite player over the years, it just gets you sharper with how to attack them.”
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