The Sacramento Kings have been inconsistent this season, but Malik Monk has undoubtedly been one of their bright spots. The 26-year-old guard has been one of their most reliable performers this season and is currently the favorite to win the Sixth Man of the Year award.

While Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox are the Kings’ best players, Monk’s ability to provide instant offense and playmaking off the bench has saved them more than once in the last couple of seasons as the Kings have fought their way back to relevance.

Monk loves the big moment, and that was on full display again against the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he scored 35 of his 39 points in the second half and overtime as he put the Kings on his back for a close away victory. With his former Kentucky teammate Fox sidelined with a knee contusion, Monk was there to make the big plays again and again.


Monk has been worth every penny of his two-year $19.4 million deal and he’s already got plenty of fans in Sacramento worried about other teams trying to poach him in free agency. He’s criminally underpaid at the moment and could easily get offers of $20 million or more from new teams looking for a reliable spark plug that is able to create his own offense and be a decent primary or great secondary playmaker.

He’s already provided the Kings with plenty of great moments off the bench since last season. These include a game-winner in the In-Season Tournament game against the Golden State Warriors and a 45-point performance against the LA Clippers in the second-highest scoring game in NBA history.

The hope for Kings fans is that Monk enjoys playing with Fox enough to potentially take a discount, but with the way he’s playing, good vibes may not be enough. The Kings aren’t in a great salary cap situation since they’re paying Fox and Sabonis so much money already, so it will be interesting to see what happens to Monk after this season is done.