Malik Monk

Why Kings can offer Monk just a four-year, $78M deal at maximum

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Malik Monk stated he would like to return to Sacramento and his Kings teammates basically have begged him to stay, but that still might not be enough to keep the beloved sixth man in the 916.

Monk is set to enter NBA free agency this summer, and while the Kings would love nothing more than to lock him in for the next couple of years with a contract extension, CBA rules limit what they can offer him.

As pointed out by The Athletic's Sam Amick and Anthony Slater, the projected max starting salary the Kings can offer Monk is $17.4 million, which would be a four-year, $77.9 million max long-term deal if extended out with maximum allowable raises.

But a team with more salary-cap space could offer the 26-year-old a similar-length deal in the $100 million range, a payday that would be the biggest of Monk's up-and-down NBA career and an offer too grand to decline.

“It’s big because I can go somewhere else with a lot more money and be in a worse situation. So, you never know,” Monk said at his end-of-season exit interview Monday morning. “I have a great agent that’s going to do his job. I think my job is done. I did what I needed to do this year, and it’s going to play out.

"I think it’s going to play out in the right way.”

Monk, a top candidate to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award, made $9.9 million during the 2023-24 NBA season, the final season of his two-year deal with Sacramento.

He's coming off the best two seasons of his career after helping the Kings turn their franchise around. Sacramento, in return, welcomed him with open arms and became home to him following a rocky start to his career.

If he does depart, the Kings won't be able to use all that money in free agency, Amick and Slater explained, as they’ll be limited to the midlevel exception, projected at $12.9 million.

While free agency appears limited for the Kings, any big moves to improve Sacramento's roster for the 2024-25 NBA season and beyond might have to be made via trade.

After missing the playoffs this season, the Kings retained their first-round pick, which will either be the 13th or 14th selection, in June’s NBA draft. They still owe a top-12 protected first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks next season for the Kevin Huerter deal.

It will be a busy offseason for Sacramento as the Kings look to bounce back from a "disappointing" and "frustrating" 2023-24 season.

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