Coming off the best performance of his NBA career, it would have been crazy to think that Malik Monk would still be in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform for the 2022-23 season.

The 24-year-old did say he was open to taking less money to stay with the purple and gold. But at the end of the day, being offered a two-year deal worth $19 million was too good to pass.

Monk agreed to the full midlevel exception offered by the Kings, ESPN reported.

The Lakers did plan to offer Monk the taxpayer midlevel exception. However, the figures were just too far apart and hence the decision to join the Kings.

Last season, Monk averaged 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 28.1 minutes of action. He has yet to play in a postseason game.

Instead, Los Angeles opted to move on and take in another player who plays a similar role. They ended up signing Lonnie Walker IV to a one-year $6.5 million deal to take Monk’s place, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported.

Walker was seen as expendable, especially after the Spurs picked up two guards at the 2022 NBA Draft. Now, it will be interesting to see if the 23-year-old can hit it well with the Lakers who will be led by LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

With the San Antonio Spurs last season, Walker averaged 12.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 70 games. He barely made an impact in the playoffs, getting only 3.5 minutes of action in 6 games.

The moves of Monk and Walker could help boost their respective careers. The Kings seem determined to make a difference this coming NBA season with Monk possibly getting a huge break under head coach Mike Brown.

As for Walker, he will need to deliver points from the outside to survive with the Lakers. He does own a career 46.5% shooting clip from the field and 34.3% from three-point territory.

Malik Monk Malik Monk Getty Images | Sean Gardner