Domantas Sabonis: Pitch to Malik Monk started in training camp

Apr 23, 2024, 9:34 AM | Updated: 9:36 am

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 03: Domantas Sabonis #10 and Malik Monk #0 of the Sacramento Kings cel...

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

End-of-season press conferences are always a sad time for sports fans as they listen to their favorite players recap the season that was before entering the offseason.

On the heels of losing the Western Conference’s single-elimination game against the New Orleans Pelicans–a game that would have granted the winner the eighth seed and a playoff spot–the Sacramento Kings flooded into the Golden 1 Center press conference room on Monday to speak to the media one final time.

Sacramento (46-36) followed up a memorable 2022-23 season, a year that saw the franchise clinch its first playoff appearance in 17 years, with a rollercoaster campaign in 2023-24.

Although the Kings finished the season with just two fewer wins than they did one year ago, they ended the regular season in the ninth seed spot after suffering several costly losses down the final stretch.

Sacramento also had to navigate the loss of two key rotation pieces–starting guard Kevin Huerter (shoulder surgery) and Sixth Man of the Year finalist Malik Monk (MCL sprain)–during the season’s final weeks, which proved to be a tall task in the competitive Western Conference.

YouTube video

While the season as a whole was the primary talking point, most conversations on Monday shifted towards Monk’s upcoming free agency.

Monk, who has spent the past two years with the Kings, will enter unrestricted free agency in June, where he can secure a lucrative deal that outweighs his average annual salary of $9.7 million since the start of the 2022-23 season.

The 26-year-old can receive a contract worth a maximum of $78 million over four years if he is to re-up with Sacramento this summer, but other teams with cap space could come calling and offer Monk and contract in the neighborhood of $100 million–a reality that seemed out of the question when the guard signed with the Kings in July 2022.

As Monk begins the process of evaluating his future, his teammate Domantas Sabonis told the media that his free agent pitch to the dynamic guard started back in September when Sacramento was in training camp.

“I’ve tried every day since the beginning of training camp,” Sabonis said of his efforts to keep Monk in a Kings jersey. “Obviously, he knows what I think of him and how much I care about him, so yeah, we would love to have him back.”

You can listen to Sabonis’ full end-of-season press conference by clicking ‘play’ on the video that is located within this post, or watch the interview–along with other interviews from Kings players–by checking out the Sactown Sports 1140 YouTube page.

More on Malik Monk

Malik Monk on his upcoming free agency & chances of staying with Kings

NBA Offseason Schedule

  • Sunday, May 12 – NBA Draft Lottery
  • Wednesday, June 26-Thursday, June 27th – 2024 NBA Draft
  • Sunday, June 30th – Free Agent negotiating window opens (3 PM PST)
  • Saturday, July 6th – Free Agents can officially sign contracts
  • July 12-22nd – Las Vegas Summer League
  • July 27-August 11th – 2024 Olympic Games
  • Friday, September 27th – NBA training camps begin

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