Free Agency

Houston Rockets: Top-5 2022 free agent guards

N.B. Lindberg
Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls - Game Four
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Malik Monk
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Houston Rockets Free Agent Guard #4 Malik Monk

Malik Monk looks like a future sixth man of the year. He’s a threat to score from anywhere, but his lack of playmaking and defense makes it hard to start him on a contender. That’s not a slight, but it’s a realization of who Monk has been in his career. 

It’s a good thing scoring is Monk’s main appeal, because he has consistently improved in that department. Each season of his career, he has improved his points per game from the previous, and that has gone in concert with his offensive rating. Monk has been able to become a better offensive player, not just take more of the offense.

Over the past two seasons, Monk has converted 39.4% of 3-pointers on 5.5 attempts per game. His blend of volume and efficiency has been elite. The Rockets have near the top of the league in 3-point attempt rate, but they’ve been unable to be near the top in 3-point accuracy. Monk would help push them towards the top in both categories. 

It has been rumored that Monk is interested in making $8 to $12 million per season. At that price, the Rockets should kick the tires and see if they can’t lock him down to a long term deal. He’ll turn 25 next January, and any deal would lock him up for his prime. 

The Rockets don’t need another score first guard with average playmaking, but because of his 3-point shooting proficiency, it makes for an easier fit. A lineup of Monk, Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr, Jabari Smith Jr, and Tari Eason could be an incredibly dangerous small-ball lineup. 

The Rockets aren’t likely to be much good next season, and adding Monk won’t make them much better, but he would make them a hell of a lot more fun. And isn’t that what basketball is really all about?