4 Free agents the Kings might have to replace Malik Monk with 

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Malik Monk has one of the biggest decisions of his NBA career coming up. After two years of reviving his career in Sacramento, he will be an unrestricted free agent. Monk has blossomed in the Kings’ system, scoring at a high level and growing a lot as a playmaker. 

He is one of the best reserves in the league and beloved by Sacramento fans. Plus, he has a good relationship with several coaches and players on the roster. All this speaks for his return to Sacramento after the season, but the Kings can only offer him a very specific amount of money. 

Other teams could offer him more, maybe even in combination with a starting spot. Until he has signed a new deal, Monk’s future in Sacramento is unsure, and we all need to be prepared for the possibility that he will not be back. 

So, let’s look at four free agents the Kings might have to replace Monk with over the summer. Unfortunately, there are not many affordable names of Monk’s caliber entering free agency unless someone like D’Angelo Russell declines his player option or the Raptors decline Bruce Brown’s team option. 

4. De’Anthony Melton

De’Anthony Melton has only played 36 games for the 76ers so far, averaging 11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.6 steals, and is set to hit free agency in the summer. 

Melton is not as good of a playmaker as Monk but can fill the point guard position when necessary. Last season, he played 22 percent of his possessions at the point according to Cleaning the Glass. 

He is also not as explosive of a scorer but very capable and scored double-digits in 22 games so far, including four performances with 20 or more points. Melton is also a solid three-point shooter. Last season, when he was largely healthy, he shot 39 percent on 5.2 three-point attempts per game. 

Plus, he has experience playing with a star center, was a part of those gritty Memphis teams that burst onto the scene a couple of years ago, and would come cheaper than Monk. Offensively, it would be a step down in terms of playmaking and big scoring nights, but Melton is a better defender than Monk, averaging 1.6 steals per game. 

Health is a concern with Melton, however, as he has never played a full season in his entire career. The closest he came to it was 77 games in 2022-23. Other than that, he only played 70 or more games once over six seasons. Nevertheless, there are certainly much worse options out there.