Knicks’ Jalen Brunson Dishes on Upcoming Extension Talks

Knicks' Jalen Brunson

Getty Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks reacts after scoring.

All-Star guard Jalen Brunson is willing to discuss an extension deal with the New York Knicks this summer, according to Newsday’s Steve Popper.

“I’ve heard whispers that Jalen Brunson would be open to discussions to do [an extension] this summer,” Popper said on “The Putback with Ian Begley” on April 4.

Brunson will be eligible to sign a four-year $156.5 million extension on July 12, per ESPN’s front office insider Bobby Marks. He is not eligible to sign a supermax extension since he joined the Knicks as a free agent in 2022.

“I mean, obviously that’s a thing that you want to have, security,” Brunson told Newsday on March 27. “But I’m just focusing on finishing the season, doing the best we can to make sure everyone’s back healthy and just doing my part. That’s at the forefront of my mind and I’ll worry about that stuff later.”

Brunson has exceeded expectations in his first two seasons in New York. The four-year, $104 million contract he signed in the 2022 free agency is now considered the best bargain in the NBA.

The first-time All-Star led the Knicks to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 10 years last season. He averaged a then career-high 24.0 points and 6.2 assists.

This season, he earned his first All-Star berth while on pace to new career-highs in scoring (27.9) and assists (6.6) while leading a hobbling Knicks to a second straight postseason berth.

The Knicks are currently two games outside the second seed in the Eastern Conference with six games left.

Erik Spoelstra Says Jalen Brunson Is Having MVP Season

Brunson is nowhere to be found in the’s top 10 MVP candidates but Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra believes the Knicks star should be in the conversation.

“He’s having an MVP-type season,” Spoelstra told reporters, per New York Post. “He’s at that level right now where you’re not taking things away from him.”

Spoelstra, voted by the general managers as the top coach in the NBA regarding motivating players, in-game adjustments and the best defensive schemes, described how difficult it was to hold Brunson to 20 points on a 5 of 18 shooting night during their 109-99 win against the Knicks on April 2.

“It is difficult because you corral him and then now they have the three-point shooters,” Spoelstra told reporters after the game. “Probably everybody’s saying, ‘How did he get open? That’s how he got open.’

“Great players force you to bring a second defender and sometimes a third defender and then you have to scramble and make things up from there. But he’s that good right now. His footwork and his cleverness, his aggressiveness playing against your aggressiveness, the entire package just makes it extremely challenging. You just have to be absolutely rock solid and disciplined and sometimes he’s going to make shots even when you do that.”

Jalen Brunson Bent Kings’ Defense

Brunson bounced back from his uncharacteristic performance in the Heat loss with an impeccable showing against the Sacramento Kings two days later.

The Knicks starting point guard bent the Kings’ defense to his will as he dropped 35 points and 11 assists, both game-highs, despite Sacramento’s constant blitzing.

Brunson picked apart the Kings’ defense with 12 of 20 shooting and 9 of 10 trips at the free-throw line.

“His mental and physical toughness is extraordinary for a guard. You can hit him, knock him down, foul him and he’s gonna keep coming and he’s gonna play through you,”,” Kings coach Mike Brown told reporters after the game. “He’s not shying away from contact at all. He knows the shots he can make and he gets to his spots because he’s forceful mentally, physically and strong. … The only thing to do is to double team [him].

And when they did, Brunson trusted his teammates to make the right play.

Josh Hart (31 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists) and Isaiah Hartenstein (7 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds) became his release valves off the pick-and-roll.

On top of Brunson’s extension talks, the Knicks will also have to navigate the unrestricted free agency of Hartenstein and OG Anunoby. Precious Achiuwa will also become restricted free agency while Julius Randle will also be eligible for an extension though his season-ending injury may delay those talks to next summer.