The Detroit Pistons need to pursue this shooter in free agency

Los Angeles Lakers guard Malik Monk (11) dunks the ball against the Detroit Pistons Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers guard Malik Monk (11) dunks the ball against the Detroit Pistons Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA free agency period is upon us, paving the way for teams to begin roster renovations for next season. For the Detroit Pistons, multiple options remain in play for signings, even without acquiring Deandre Ayton or Jalen Brunson.

One player that could immediately pay dividends for Detroit is Malik Monk, who is an unrestricted free agent this summer after his lone year with the Los Angeles Lakers.

For the Lakers last season, Monk was one of the lone bright spots in a tumultuous year. The 6-foot-3 guard posted career highs in points per game, rebounds, assists, and games played. With an increase in minutes (28 per game), the 24-year old fully capitalized on his time, and emerged as a spark plug and knockdown shooter (39 three point-percentage) for what was often a depleted Lakers’ offense.

This extra time on the floor not only led to a spike on offense, it gave Monk the opportunity to demonstrate his improved well-roundedness across the board, and the former Kentucky guard delivered.

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In Detroit, Monk could find similar success in the second unit, amongst a budding young core in need of more depth and three-point shooting. After the additions of Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey on draft night, the Detroit Pistons will enter free agency having yet to fully address their shooting woes from the three-point line, outside of trading for Alec Burks.

Last season, the Pistons ranked second to last in three-point percentage, at a paltry 32.6 percent as a team. They were also one of just 12 teams to make fewer than 12 three pointers per game.

The Detroit Pistons still need shooters

Finding rotational pieces with the ability to shoot consistently from long range should be an important step in the near future to complement a roster that projects to be filled with length and athleticism. Addressing this need could also keep the Detroit Pistons close in several more games next year. In their 23 wins last season, the Pistons shot 37 percent from behind the arc. In their losses, this percentage dropped to just 30 percent. Additionally, the Pistons were ranked 29th in three-point percentage from players off the bench, at 30.6 percent.

The addition of Monk would come during a pivotal time for the 24-year old, as he continues to demonstrate improvements each season. After career-highs in offensive (2.3) and defensive (1.4) win shares, true shooting percentage (59.7), and effective field goal percentage (57.8), the fifth-year veteran took another step this season, and should be a solid rotational piece at the very least. Detroit would immediately reap the benefits of Monk’s long-range shooting, and could possibly benefit from his improved defense, and the other aspects continuing to take shape within his game.

While it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Detroit Pistons won’t make a major free agency splash this summer, there are still several options in free agency that could better the roster, and address some of the glaring holes of last season. If there’s mutual interest from both sides, Malik Monk could be an addition to do both.

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