As the Dallas Mavericks get set to embark on an important offseason, all eyes are on point guard Jalen Brunson. The guard will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and while he was initially rumored to be heading back to Dallas, that isn’t a sure thing anymore.
There are a few teams around the league who want to get a crack at Brunson, with the most commonly named one being the New York Knicks. Brunson has some ties to the Knicks, but more importantly, they will likely be willing to pay him a ton of money.
In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report detailed his boldest predictions for the NBA offseason. One of them was that Brunson will leave the Mavericks in favor of joining the Knicks. His main argument for the potential move (outside of the money) is that New York would hand Brunson the keys.
“With no franchise point guard on the roster, the Knicks will now go all-in for Brunson, even if it means clearing additional salary,” Swartz wrote. “While it’s true the 25-year-old could make more money and sign for a fifth year with the Dallas Mavericks, he’ll never be the primary ball-handler with Luka Doncic around. Although RJ Barrett and Julius Randle will do their share of playmaking, this could be Brunson’s offense to run, especially with his dad, Rick, now working as an assistant coach for Tom Thibodeau.”
New York already made some cap-clearing moves at the NBA Draft, and it’s looking like they’re gearing up to offer Brunson a massive deal.
Potential Knicks Offer for Brunson
On a recent episode of his Please Don’t Aggregate This podcast, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report noted that the Knicks could offer Brunson a deal worth upward of $100 million this summer and that they may not stop there.
“The Knicks offer is almost assuredly going to be four (years), $100 (million). And, at least, and I know people around the week who are preparing for his offer to end up being for $110 (million),” said Fischer.
New York traded Kemba Walker during the draft to the Detroit Pistons in order to dump salary. It’s also believed that they could waive some players to further this cause and that Cam Reddish could be available in trade talks for the same reason.
Dallas can still offer him more money than the Knicks, though. Not only can they give him a five-year deal (while other teams around the league can only offer him four), but they can also give him a few more million per season.
However, there have been reports that Dallas may not be willing to do that, and that they could be scared off by the Knicks’ aggressive offer.
Mavericks Could ‘Blink’ at Brunson’s Price
On June 13, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report reported that the Mavericks could hesitate to match the Knicks’ offer for Brunson if it exceeds a certain number.
“While New York won’t have the cap room, multiple sources believe Dallas may blink at Brunson’s asking price, compelled to sign and trade him to the Knicks,” Pincus reported.
Losing Brunson would be a huge blow to Dallas’ depth, as he was a crucial part of their run to the Western Conference Finals last year. But at this point, all they can do is wait until free agency officially opens and try to convince Brunson to stay.