The New York Knicks are expected to land a point guard in free agency as they’ve already started the process of freeing up cap space to sign a big name.
Their draft day trade of shipping Kemba Walker to the Pistons got them closer to their reported target of $25 million of cap space, which would subsequently be used to sign a player like Jalen Brunson.
On top of Brunson, there appears to be another star guard that could hit the market in Kyrie Irving, and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst argues that could be what’s on the team’s mind.
While Brunson might be the team’s top target, CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn argues the team should be pursuing a different guard, and that’s Spurs All-Star Dejounte Murray.
Change of Plans?
While Quinn doesn’t say Brunson is a bad player, he does think Murray is better. On top of that, he makes the argument that Murray would come cheaper and leave some cap space on the table.
“I would much rather give up four or five firsts to get DeJounte Murray at $17 million per year than give up one or two more firsts to crate the cap space to sign Jalen Brunson for $25-30 million per year,” he wrote in response to a fan wanting Murray over Brunson. “Murray is the better player.”
The problem with this is Murray signed a four-year extension back in 2019, so he’s going to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024. This means the Knicks will need to trade a bunch of picks and likely some of the team’s young talent.
Murray isn’t a great shooter from deep either, shooting 33 percent from three for his career, so he doesn’t exactly solve the team’s shooting woes as Brunson would. There’s no question he’s a good player considering he was selected to the All-Star team this past season, but his fit with the Knicks could raise some questions.
With RJ Barrett and Julius Randle both being ball-dominant, adding another player to the lineup with the same toolset like that could be difficult, but the team needs to solve its point guard problem somehow.
Latest on Brunson
There hasn’t been much movement on the Brunson front since the draft outside of the Knicks clearing cap space for him.
His high school coach Pat Ambrose said Derrick Rose being in New York could be a bargaining chip for the Knicks.
“Jalen would go over to the Bulls facility and practice with the Bulls players,” Ambrose said via the New York Post. “That’s where he became good friends with Derrick Rose. So your story gets deep with the Knicks. Derrick saw that young Jalen was a very, very good player and Derrick was a Chicago kid, and really started to mentor Jalen basketball-wise.”
The Mavericks will likely be fighting hard to get him to return to Dallas, especially since they traded for Christian Wood to make the roster even deeper. Luka Doncic is only improving, and it’s important for him to keep a strong supporting cast if Dallas wants to compete for a championship.