The Sacramento Kings are coming off a solid 2023-24 season. The Kings finished with a 46-36 record and nearly made the playoffs for the second time in a row after a 16-year drought. A large part of Sacramento's success is Sixth Man of the Year candidate Malik Monk, whom the team resigned in free agency. Monk's return impacts the Kings' trade interest in Chicago Bulls guard Zach Lavine in an intriguing way.

The Kings signed Malik Monk to a four-year, $78 million deal. As a result, many rival executives believe Sacramento's interest with the Bulls for Zach Lavine could be dwindling, per Hoops Hype. This development leaves room for the Kings to focus their efforts on improving through the draft.

Sacramento possesses the 13th overall pick, and it is believed they will target a small forward after retaining Monk. Ron Holland and Matas Buzelis are two names that could be good targets for the Kings. Alternatively, Sacramento could bolster their depth with players like Ja'Kobe Walter, Devin Carter, and Johnny Furphy.

Regardless of what happens, Sacramento wants to regain success reminiscent of their 2022-23 season. That year, the Kings earned the third seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. They faced the Golden State Warriors in the first round but lost in seven games.

Sacramento faced the Warriors again in the 2024 Play-In and got their revenge. However, they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans in their playoff spot-determining matchup, ending their postseason run early. The Kings did not have the services of Malik Monk at the time due to injury, but once he returns healthy he will make a large impact.

Malik Monk is exactly who the Kings needed back

As entertaining as it would be to see Zach Lavine leave the Bulls and wear a Kings jersey, it might be best if Sacramento cools their pursuit. Malik Monk's scoring ability and continuity with the team should help the team get back to the level they were at before their 2024 postseason exit.

Through 72 games, Monk averaged 15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and shot 35.0% on three-pointers during the 2023-24 season. Yet, his offensive ability is not the only thing he provides to the team. Head coach Mike Brown noted the positive impact Monk's personality has on the team in mid-April.

“Malik is one of the most charismatic guys I've been around. It's infectious, you know? I mean, really great, great human being. You know, his charisma makes you want to be around him,” Brown said.

Unfortunately, Monk could not finish the regular season due to a sprained right MCL. Yet, that has not stopped him from giving energy to the team. Brown noted Monk as a vocal leader who is a supportive presence.

“And so with his charisma and how vocal he is, you want that presence around as much as possible. And you know, to his credit he's been there. He comes to our film sessions, comes to our practices. Obviously, he's active on the bench, and we encourage that,” Brown added.

The Kings will use Monk's leadership in 2024-25 as they look for improvement.