Knicks Guard Jalen Brunson Calls Out NBA After Finals: ‘It’s Been 12 Hours’

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks

Getty Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks leads the off offense in the second half against the Miami Heat.

The New York Knicks had a tremendous run during the 2022-23 campaign, as they finished with the eighth-best record in the entire league (47-35) and clinched their first playoff series win since the 2012-13 campaign.

While there were many contributing factors that played into their successes, argued to have had the most significant impact is last season’s free agency acquisition, Jalen Brunson, who put forth a career-best campaign and, in turn, halted the franchise’s long-awaited search for a long-term point guard.

While Knicks fans are over the moon with how well the 26-year-old performed during his first season in the Big Apple, Brunson himself suggests that the NBA has more questions rather than words of praise, as he revealed via Twitter that the league has requested him to take a drug test.

“Off season drug test season in full effect. It’s been 12 hours 😂😂😂,” Jalen Brunson wrote.

“Random” drug test jokes seem to be the norm for players who go on to put forth impressive efforts, with Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant also being on record as noting that he dealt with such requests from the league throughout his stellar 2022-23 campaign.

Brunson posted career-high numbers in several statistical categories during his inaugural season with the Knicks, as he finished with per-game averages of 24.0 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 49.1% from the field and 41.6% from deep.

Josh Hart Drawing Interest From Rockets

The Knicks not only added Jalen Brunson to their core group of talents for this past season, but mid-way through the year they went on to strike a deal for his former Villanova teammate, Josh Hart, via trade with the Blazers.

Though New York may have the point guard locked in on a four-year, $104 million deal, the latter-mentioned wing is slated to turn down the final year of his three-year, $37.9 million deal and test the open waters of free agency.

And while rumors all indicate that Hart has every intention of re-signing with the Knicks, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko recently reported that the Houston Rockets have serious interest in making a run at the veteran.

“If the [Brooklyn] Nets and [Los Angeles] Lakers are bent on keeping [Cam] Johnson and [Austin] Reaves, they have other names in mind, like Dillon Brooks, Josh Hart, and Kelly Oubre,” Iko said on the June 13 episode of the Hoopshype podcast with Michael Scotto.

Even with this report, however, Josh Hart himself has gone as far as to say “I love New York” since the Knicks ended their season and that it would be an “ideal place” for him to play moving forward.

Knicks Predicted to Sign Josh Hart to $72 Million Deal

Though the future is still unknown, as noted already, it seems likely that Josh Hart will wind up remaining with the Knicks this offseason, with some going as far as to say that an extension is “inevitable.”

To HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, a reasonable contract offer would be somewhere in the $15-18 million range on an annual basis and went as far as to predict that he’ll go on to claim a deal worth $72 million this summer.

“If I had to guesstimate where I think it’s ultimately going to go, I could see Hart getting a little bit higher towards the $18 million a year mark because of the way the cap is going up,” Scotto said. “Tom Thibodeau loves him. He’s a CAA guy. At the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, the buzz from the Knicks, rival executives, and even rival agents was that Josh Hart was going to re-sign with the Knicks. I think four years, $72 million for him, would seemingly be ideal.”

During his stint with the Knicks, Josh Hart went on to post averages of 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 25 regular-season games while shooting 58.6% from the field and a 51.9% clip from three-point range.