Malik Monk

Pacific Notes: Curry, Hartenstein, Brown, Russell

Warriors star Stephen Curry turned 35 years old on Tuesday, but he’s not even close to thinking about retirement, as he told Andscape’s Marc J. Spears. He’s hoping to play into his 40s, if all goes well.

“How I feel right now is not how I thought I’d feel at 35. That number sounds crazy, but in my head, I feel like I got a lot left,” he said. “The work I put into this I still enjoy. Who knows how [the future] looks?

“I talked to Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and other guys who have been on the other side of the halfway point. I know quarterbacking is different, but you can check yourself [mentally] into not fast-forwarding too far. They really did a good job of disciplining themselves for what is happening in real time. They’re 40 feeling like they can still play. I’m trying to stay in that mode. Thirty-five is a big milestone, but the next one is 40. The way I feel right now, who knows?””

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Knicks big man Isaiah Hartenstein suggested that if the Clippers had offered him the taxpayer mid-level exception last summer, he would have taken it, Tomer Azarly of reports. Hartenstein wound up signing a two-year contract worth up to $18.1MM with New York. “I mean, they gave the only thing they really could’ve offered me to John Wall. I was — I can’t take that big of a pay cut,” he said. “I think I was actually gonna come back, but I can’t take that big of a pay cut. So they picked John Wall over me and I got to live with that.”
  • Head coach Mike Brown has raised the bar for the Kings and they’ve responded, as Sam Amick of The Athletic details. Brown ripped his team for giving up 23 offensive rebounds to the Knicks on Thursday, even though Sacramento won. Holding his players accountable has paid off. “That’s why we’re in the position we’re in right now, because he wants us to be perfect,” guard Malik Monk said. “He knows we can’t be perfect, but he wants us to be perfect. So I think that’s why we’re succeeding right now. He’s pushing us, coming in and telling us that was B.S. You would’ve thought we lost if you heard what was going on, but he just wants the best for us, man. Like I said, he wants us to be perfect in a world that’s not perfect.”
  • D’Angelo Russell is hopeful of re-signing with the Lakers this offseason when he hits free agency, Jacob Rude of relays. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said at halftime of the Knicks-Lakers game on Sunday night that Russell wants to extend his second stint with the franchise. “D’Angelo Russell very much wanted a second chance in LA with the Lakers and you’ve seen the impact he made coming back against Toronto the other night, playing great in a win, and again (Sunday). He wants to be the point guard of the future for this organization.”

Rockets’ Green, Tate Suspended One Game By NBA

Rockets guard Jalen Green and forward Jae’Sean Tate have each been suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench area during an on-court altercation on Friday in Sacramento, the league announced today (via Twitter).

As we previously detailed, the skirmish began in the fourth quarter of Sacramento’s win over Houston when Kings guard Malik Monk took exception to a loose-ball foul committed by Rockets guard Garrison Mathews (Twitter video link via Bleacher Report).

Following an official review, referees ejected both Monk and Mathews, along with Kings big man Chimezie Metu, who was called an “escalator,” and Rockets forward Tari Eason, who was referred to as an “instigator,” according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

The players directly involved in the incident escaped without suspensions, though the NBA has fined Mathews $35K and Monk $25K. The league deemed Mathews to be the instigator of the altercation, but said Monk continued it, with both players taunting one another.

While Metu won’t face an additional penalty, Eason has been fined $30K for escalating the fracas and making inadvertent contact with a game official, per the NBA.

Green and Tate weren’t directly involved in the incident, but a player who is not already in the game and leaves the bench in a situation like this one automatically receives a one-game ban. Orlando, for instance, recently had eight players hit with one-game suspensions for doing the same thing during an altercation in Detroit.

Green and Tate will serve their suspensions on Sunday when the Rockets visit the Clippers. They’ll lose 1/145th of their full-season salaries, which works out to about $65K for Green and $49K for Tate.

Rockets Notes: Mathews, Eason, Green, Tate, Gordon, Silas

After Kings guard Malik Monk took exception to a loose-ball foul committed by Rockets guard Garrison Mathews in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s contest in Sacramento, a brief on-court fracas broke out between the two teams (Twitter video link via Bleacher Report).

Following an official review, referees ejected both Monk and Mathews, along with Kings big man Chimezie Metu, who was deemed an “escalator,” and Rockets forward Tari Eason, dubbed an “instigator,” according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

Fines or suspensions could follow for the four players ejected from Friday’s game, and two more Rockets players could be in danger of one-game bans, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Jalen Green and Jae’Sean Tate both left the bench area during the altercation, which typically results in an automatic one-game suspension from the NBA. Orlando recently had eight players receive one-game suspensions for similar violations.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • With Eric Gordon once again on the trade block in Houston, Kelly Iko of The Athletic tries to find a deal that would make sense for both the Rockets and a potential trade partner. Iko cautions that expectations about Gordon’s value should be tempered — three of his four suggestions don’t involve Houston acquiring a first-round pick, and the one scenario that does include a first-rounder sees the Rockets taking on Richaun Holmes‘ multiyear contract from Sacramento.
  • The 10-32 Rockets are in danger of finishing with the NBA’s worst record for the third straight year, and Stephen Silas, who now has a 47-149 (.240) since becoming the club’s head coach, is no lock to coach the team beyond this season — or even for the rest of this season. Exploring that possibility, Jerome Solomon of The Houston Chronicle argues that Silas deserves better and has been dealt a terrible hand since getting his first head coaching job.
  • After making 33 starts and averaging a career-high 26.3 minutes per game last season, Garrison Mathews has come exclusively off the bench in 2022/23 and is playing just 12.7 MPG. However, he’s taking the demotion in stride and trying to make an impact in his limited role, writes Danielle Lerner of The Houston Chronicle. “It’s my role, and I’ve got to try to do it the best I can,” Mathews said. “I gotta go out there and hit shots. And if I don’t, then that’s my role. So I gotta be able to do that.”
  • The Rockets’ defense has been bad during their current slide (nine straight losses, 14 in their last 15 games), and those issues go beyond the team’s talent on that side of the ball, Lerner writes in another Chronicle story. According to Lerner, it often appears that Houston’s defensive effort is lacking, with basic assignments missed, especially in transition. The Rockets are allowing an NBA-worst 26.2 transition points per game this season, per

Pacific Notes: DiVincenzo, Garvin, Crowder, Booker, Monk

Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo says that the Bucks and Milwaukee will always hold a special place in his heart, Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. DiVincenzo won a championship with the Bucks two seasons ago before being traded to Sacramento in a deadline deal last season.

DiVincenzo, who signed a two-year contract with the Warriors as a free agent over the summer, is looking forward to tonight’s game at Milwaukee: “They opened the door to the NBA for me. I can play for every team in the NBA. No matter what, I’m still always going to have that special love for the organization, for that front office for giving me my first shot in the NBA. That goes with the fans as well.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns interim governor Sam Garvin is confident the front office will get a solid offer for Jae Crowder, who is sitting out while he awaits a trade.  “(GM James Jones and his staff have) had a lot of discussions with a lot of teams that are interested in Jae. As James said, there’s no magic wand of a timeline,” Garvin told Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic (subscription required). “It’s going to happen when it’s going to happen, but I think Jae is going to go somewhere and do well and I think we’re going to get value for Jae.” Garvin addresses other topics in the Q&A, including Jones’ extension and the team’s inability to sign Cameron Johnson to an extension.
  • Suns star guard Devin Booker will sit out for the second straight game on Tuesday due to left hamstring tightness, Rankin writes in a separate story. Booker also missed Phoenix’s overtime loss to New Orleans on Sunday. Booker has a history of hamstring issues, Rankin notes.
  • Malik Monk has a reputation of being a scorer but the Kings are also using him more as a play-maker, according to Spencer Davies of Basketball News. Monk is not only averaging a career-best 14.4 points per game but also 3.8 assists. His 2.9 APG with the Lakers last season represented a career high. “We’re just try to move it, move the defense as much as possible,” Monk said. “But they can’t help off me as much ’cause I can shoot. They can’t help off of (Domantas Sabonis) that much because he’s a big threat rolling. So whatever they do is going to be wrong, and I’ve just been making the right reads this year.” Monk signed a two-year, $19.4MM contract with Sacramento as a free agent.

Kings Notes: Monk, Barnes, Brown, McNair, Fox

Kings players discussed the team’s 16-year postseason drought just once before the season began to clear the air about it, free agent addition Malik Monk tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. At 14-11 and sitting at fifth in the Western Conference, the current roster seems well positioned to take Sacramento back to the playoffs. Monk said that’s what envisioned when agreed to a two-year, $19.4MM contract over the summer.

“I wanted to change the culture,” he said. “I wanted to come in here and change everything about Sacramento and how everyone thought about it. I think we’re doing that now. We’ve just got to continue to win.”

The Kings also hired a new head coach in Mike Brown, whom several players praised for instilling accountability. Brown pointed to the leadership provided by Matthew Dellavedova, another offseason addition, and Harrison Barnes, who has been with the organization for nearly four years and is open to a new contract when he reaches free agency after this season.

“This group has a chance to do something special in Sacramento that hasn’t been done in almost two decades,” Barnes said. “I think that’s where my focus is. In terms of a contract, 11 years in now, I’m not too concerned about it. I think it’s all going to work out the way it’s supposed to.”

There’s more on the Kings:

  • Brown set his goals higher than just reaching the playoffs, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “When I took this job, one of the things that I truly believed in is if we did it right, we can have a chance at this thing,” Brown said. “Not just to make the playoffs — which is not what I’m looking to do — but to advance. You take a job to try to build a championship-level team organization. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But you got to believe.” One way Brown has improved the team is by focusing on defense, where the Kings rank 15th in the league after finishing 27th last season.
  • General manager Monte McNair has overturned the roster since taking over as general manager in 2020 and hopes to get a chance to finish what he started, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. McNair is in the final year of his contract and declined to say if he’s had extension talks with owner Vivek Ranadive. “I’ll just say my family loves it in Sacramento and we’re very happy with how things are going,” McNair stated. “We’re just focused on winning and continuing to keep this thing growing.”
  • After missing the past two games with right foot soreness, De’Aaron Fox participated in today’s morning shootaround, Anderson tweets. He’s listed as questionable for tonight’s contest in Philadelphia.

Pacific Notes: Leonard, LeBron, Monk, Wiseman

The Clippers are just a game above .500, but they’re willing to give Kawhi Leonard all the time he needs to start playing again, writes Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. Leonard participated in a five-on-five workout Friday for the first time since experiencing right knee soreness on October 23. Although that’s an encouraging sign, his teammates don’t want to rush him back into the lineup.

“I’m excited to get him back whenever he’s ready,” Paul George said. “Nobody here wants to put added pressure on his return. His return is his return. Like I’ve been saying, we got a job to do and that’s to continue to play ball, win games, compete. When he’s ready, he’s ready, but that’s his timetable, not ours.”

Leonard, who missed all of 2021/22 while recovering from a torn ACL, has only been able to play in two games this season. Kevin Durant, whose Nets won in L.A. this afternoon, said Leonard understands what he needs to do to get healthy.

“He knows how to deal with his body,” Durant said. “He knows his body better than anybody. The league is better though, when Kawhi Leonard is playing.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • After missing Friday’s game with a left adductor strain, Lakers star LeBron James has been upgraded slightly for Sunday but still remains doubtful, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN. With James sidelined, coach Darvin Ham said “self-inflicted mistakes” cost L.A. in a loss to the Kings, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic. The Lakers committed numerous turnovers and defensive mistakes in the closing minutes of both halves. “We’ve just got to get some wins, especially in the West,” Anthony Davis said. “Every team is good. Got a lot of basketball left but we dug ourselves a hole. So we’ve got to put some wins together, got to start winning — ASAP. Try to stay positive, obviously. The energy around our locker room feels like 2-10, as it should. But we’ve got to start putting wins together immediately.”
  • Malik Monk, who left the Lakers for the Kings in free agency, has been a good fit in Sacramento, according to Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group. L.A. wasn’t able to offer Monk more than the taxpayer mid-level exception, so he signed with the Kings for $9.5MM. “People probably may not look at him like this because he’s so young, and he’s bounced around as a young guy, but he knows how to lead,” coach Mike Brown said. “He uplifts the group. He’s fun-loving. He’s always messing with somebody, and guys really, really enjoy that, and you need that when you’re together as much as we are.”
  • The Warriors should consider trading third-year center James Wiseman, who doesn’t fit the team’s style of play and isn’t ready to be part of a championship contender, argues Nekias Duncan of Basketball News.

Kings Notes: Starting Lineup, Barnes, Sabonis

While De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Harrison Barnes are locked in as starters, two spots in the Kings‘ starting lineup remain up for grabs, head coach Mike Brown said this weekend.

“Obviously, Fox is going to start for us. Domas is going to start for us. HB is going to start for us,” Brown said, per Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. “But we’re kind of up in the air a little bit with the two and the four spot, and there are some guys that we feel have a real good chance to start for us in those spots, but we’re going to keep mixing those two spots around to see what we can get.”

Kevin Huerter started as shooting guard during the Kings’ presseason opener vs. the Lakers on Monday, while KZ Okpala got the nod at power forward. However, neither player had a big night, while Malik Monk and Keegan Murray – two other contenders for those starting spots – combined for 24 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals.

Brown won’t make any decisions based on one night, but with the start of the regular season just two weeks away, every preseason game will be an important one as the Kings consider their options.

Here are a few more notes out of Sacramento:

  • Barnes, who is entering the final season of a four-year deal, isn’t oblivious to the fact that his name has popped up frequently in trade rumors over the last year or two, but he’s preparing to spend his full contract year in Sacramento, Anderson writes for The Sacramento Bee. “You know how the NBA is,” Barnes said. “I check Woj. I check Shams. They’ve still got me here, so as far as I’m concerned, this is where I’m supposed to be and I’m going to give it my best effort.”
  • Speaking to Mark Medina of, Sabonis discussed the Kings’ playoff chances, his chemistry with Fox, and how having the defensive-minded Brown on the sidelines will impact the team. “He’s a defensive coach, and he’s definitely trying to make life easy for us in terms of the terminology,” Sabonis said of Brown. “The defensive stuff we’re doing is going to help us out. It’ll depend on us. He’s giving us all the answers and the system of how we want to play as a team. Defense is about effort and competing. If we compete every game, it’s going to be tough.”
  • Making the play-in tournament is a “completely reasonable goal” for the Kings, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who previews Sacramento’s season and projects the team to finish 10th in the Western Conference with a 37-45 record.

California Notes: Kings, Robinson, Warriors, Lakers

While Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox is clearly locked in as the team’s starter at that position, the identity of his backcourt cohort is a bit up in the air. James Ham of The Kings Beat takes stock of the team’s options at shooting guard.

Ham identifies 6’7″ sharpshooter Kevin Huerter, acquired in a trade with the Hawks over the summer, as the option that makes the most sense fit-wise, but notes that free agent signing Malik Monk could get significant consideration as well. Inconsistent wing Terence Davis should get some run in the rotation, while Ham also examines the upside of young swingmen Sam Merrill and Keon Ellis.

There’s more out of California:

  • Shooting guard Jerome Robinson faces an uphill battle when it comes to making the Warriors‘ regular season roster. C.J. Holmes of the San Francisco Chronicle details how the 25-year-old will need to prove his mettle in training camp. In his 2021/22 campaign with Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, the former lottery pick recorded averages of 20.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.8 APG in 22 games. Holmes writes that the team may be prioritizing a point guard or more size with the final one or two spots on its standard 15-man roster.
  • The Warriors seem fully capable of mounting a solid title defense this season, HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan opines in a fresh season preview. Gozlan posits that Golden State’s excellent two-way play and deep roster of veterans, mixed with some intriguing youth, should make the team a formidable threat in the Western Conference.,
  • On a recent episode of his podcast The Hoop Collective, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that the Lakers were never involved in three-team trade talks between the Jazz and Knicks in a potential trade to send Donovan Mitchell to New York. The three-time All-Star was eventually dealt to the Cavaliers instead in a two-team deal. Windhorst adds that the Lakers appear to think that there is no deal for $47MM+ point guard Russell Westbrook, even with their tantalizing 2027 and 2029 first-round picks included, that will significantly upgrade their roster.

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Collison, Monk, Leonard, Wall

The Lakers‘ five additions in free agency were targeted for speed, defense and shooting, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. New head coach Darvin Ham is determined to bring a fresh approach to a team that finished in the bottom third of the league in both offensive and defensive rating last season. All five players who were introduced at today’s press conference talked about how they will blend into that system.

“I think I can fit on any team,” said former Warrior Juan Toscano-Anderson. “I think I can guard one through five. I’ll do whatever it takes to win, and when I say whatever, I mean it. I’ll dive over scorer’s tables. I’ll rebound. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Along with a renewed emphasis on defense, L.A. hopes its free agency moves will provide increased spacing for its star players. Ex-Spur Lonnie Walker is coming off a season where he connected at just 31.4% from three-point range, but he vows to be better.

“Last year, you can look at the percentages, but I kid you not: Leave me open, we’re going to see what’s happening,” Walker said. “I’m honing into what I got to get better on, and I’m not just strengthening my weakness but I’m strengthening my strengths as well. So, I’m ready to show everyone what I’m about.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Free agent point guard Darren Collison worked out for the Lakers again today, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Collison, who was at a mini-camp with the team last month, is interested in returning to the NBA at age 34.
  • Malik Monk‘s long friendship with De’Aaron Fox played an important role in his decision to sign with the Kings, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Monk and Fox have been friends since high school and they were backcourt partners at Kentucky. “They speak all the time,” a source told Anderson. “They’re still in their college group chat, so they speak every day. Those guys are real brothers, so I’m excited for them both.”
  • Clippers star Kawhi Leonard hasn’t been cleared to play 5-on-5, but he continues to make progress in his return from an ACL injury, ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk said on “NBA Today” (video link). Newly signed John Wall will compete with Reggie Jackson for the starting point guard spot, Youngmisuk adds.

Contract Details: Monk, Bucks, Edwards, Dort, Jones

Malik Monk‘s two-year deal with the Kings is worth approximately $19.42MM in total, with a first-year salary of $9.47MM, Hoops Rumors has learned. While Sacramento used most of the mid-level exception to bring Monk aboard, the team still has $1,017,781 left on the MLE, which is the exact value of the rookie minimum salary.

The Kings didn’t have a second-round pick in this year’s draft, so that leftover mid-level money won’t go to a 2022 draftee. But the club may have it earmarked for a player like Sasha Vezenkov, a 2017 second-rounder whose draft rights were acquired from Cleveland last month. Using that leftover mid-level money, Sacramento could offer Vezenkov – or another player – a minimum-salary deal that exceeds two years.

Here are a few more details on recently-signed contracts from around the NBA:

  • As expected, Joe Ingles got the full taxpayer mid-level exception ($6.48MM) from the Bucks, while Bobby Portis‘s four-year deal is worth the most he could receive using his Early Bird rights ($48.58MM), Hoops Rumors has learned. Portis’ contract includes a 15% trade kicker and a fourth-year player option.
  • Wesley Matthews‘ new deal with the Bucks is a one-year, minimum-salary contract, while the team used Jevon Carter‘s Non-Bird rights to give him a first-year salary ($2.1MM) worth a little more than his minimum ($1.97MM). Carter’s second-year player option is for the veteran’s minimum.
  • Kessler Edwards‘ two-year deal with the Nets, which features a second-year team option, is – as expected – worth the minimum.
  • Luguentz Dort‘s five-year contract with the Thunder includes a team option in year five and has a total base value of $82.5MM. It can be worth up to $87.5MM if Dort earns $5MM in total unlikely bonuses ($1MM annually), tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
  • Tyus Jones‘ two-year deal with the Grizzlies begins at $15MM and declines to $14MM in 2023/24, per Marks (Twitter link). The deal includes an additional $1MM in unlikely incentives related to the team’s performance, Marks adds.