Bill Simmons Sounds Off on Knicks PG Jalen Brunson

jalen brunson

Getty Jalen Brunson is the Knicks point guard.

The big acquisition for the New York Knicks over the summer was Jalen Brunson, and while there were many fans hoping Donovan Mitchell would join him, New York settled for just the point guard.

Despite not getting the other star, the Knicks have to be happy with Brunson in town as he brings a sense of playmaking and stability to the position that hasn’t been there in years. While players like Mitchell Robinson have tried to downplay what it’s like having a true point guard on the roster, there’s no question Brunson is a big upgrade.

Whether he’s enough to get the Knicks into the playoffs is another thing entirely, and it’s far from a guarantee in the deep Eastern Conference. The play-in tournament opens things up a bit and requires the Knicks to only secure to the 10th seed, meaning they’d have to be better than just five other teams.

That seems doable, and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons believes it’s possible. On an episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” he dished on whether or not Brunson will be a savior for the team, and the answer might surprise some people.

Simmons Gives His Take

Considering his career best in points scored per game is 16.3 set last season, it’s not a fair expectation to think he’ll join the Knicks and immediately start putting up 30 a game.

Instead, he’ll be somebody who runs the show, makes plays for other players, and grabs a bucket here and there.

“He’s not gonna be a ‘Come see Jalen Brunson as he scores 38 against the Wizards,’ he’s not that kinda guy,” Simmons said. “But I do value having that dude on this team and I think Dallas is gonna miss him.”

While the Knicks will enjoy having his scoring power on the team, he’s not expected to come out and shoulder the scoring load. Simmons believes he is signed to a good contract, so it’s not something they should look back on a lot.

“No brainer,” he continued. “They didn’t have to pay him a max, what’s was he? [$25 million] a year? The cap is gonna go way up in two years anyway.”

The Knicks do have three guys on the team who are making over $100 million, but that might not be all that much of an issue in the years to come as the cap continues to climb. They are lacking the true superstar on the team, so they’ll have to hope they find a way to land another player or wait for somebody like RJ Barrett to turn into one.

Knicks Could be Surprising

On paper, it’s difficult to envision a world where the Knicks aren’t at least a play-in team in the next season.

They won 37 games last season with Alec Burks at point guard, so it’s hard to imagine that number doesn’t increase even slightly with Jalen Brunson. 40 wins would likely put them around the 10th seed, and that could give the team the chance to make the playoffs.

Anything less than that would almost certainly be viewed as a disappointment, especially when you consider how deep this roster really is.

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