Malik Monk has been among the most reliable players on the Los Angeles Lakers this season. He's averaging over 15 points per game since joining the starting lineup in December, and as teammates have gotten injured around him left and right, he has missed just a single game since Christmas. Had the rest of the NBA known he would be this type of player, he almost certainly wouldn't have been available to the Lakers for a minimum salary.

But as his agent, Jeff Schwartz, told ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Monk had just three suitors this offseason: the Lakers, Knicks and Mavericks. The Lakers pursued him relentlessly and ultimately landed the ascending guard. They've given him the sort of stable role he always lacked in Charlotte. Of his 30 career starts, 29 have come in Los Angeles. He's averaging career-highs in points, minutes and shot attempts despite playing on a team with several Hall of Famers.

Monk has been so successful in Los Angeles that both sides are hoping to make this a long-term partnership. "We're very loyal people," Malik's brother Marcus told McMenamin. "The Lakers were calling him nonstop once free agency opened. So we don't forget about that."