Insider Reveals Knicks Plans After Whiffing on All-Star Guard

Dejounte Murray

Getty Dejounte Murray looks to lead San Antonio to the playoffs.

The New York Knicks have been spending the days since the draft clearing up cap space so they can sign Jalen Brunson to a contract.

By trading Kemba Walker, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel they have freed up enough space so they can now offer a four-year deal in excess of $100 million to the Dallas Mavericks point guard.

The plan was for the team to keep on dealing after signing Brunson, and it was thought they could manage to get their hands on Dejounte Murray. However, the Spurs All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for a handful of first-round picks and former Knicks draft pick Danillo Gallinari.

After missing out on Murray, many fans are wondering where the Knicks go from here, and SNY’s Ian Begley appears to have an answer. As it turns out, New York is in the market for a backup center after trading away Noel, so that is what they’re looking at.

Backup Plan Revealed

Noel was on a team-friendly contract, so they wouldn’t have simply gotten rid of him if it weren’t for the bigger picture plan, Jalen Brunson being that plan in this case.

While Jericho Sims will be back for another season with the Knicks, it would appear the team wants somebody a little more seasoned at the position.

“I know they’ve been in touch with some people representing backup centers,” Begley said. “My read on that, at least in talking to those people, is that the Knicks are pretty confident that they can get Mitchell Robinson back.”

Rumblings have gotten strong that Robinson will be returning to New York on a new contract after worries that he could jump ship to Detroit or another team. With the team now confident they can retain him, they seem ready to address the now-vacant backup spot.

“They’ve already been talking to potential backups to see who they can bring in to back up Robinson after trading Nerlens Noel to Detroit to open up that cap space to make a run at Jalen Brunson,” he continued.

Brunson a Done Deal?

While many fans seem to think Brunson is already locked up with the Knicks considering they’ve cleared all of this cap space for him, that’s not true.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Brunson will be meeting the Mavericks, Knicks and Miami Heat before he makes a decision. It was expected the Mavericks and Knicks would both be in play for the guard, but the Heat have emerged as a “darkhorse.”

“There is a darkhorse team in play: the Miami Heat, as they’ve secured a meeting, too, sources said,” reported Haynes. “In order for the Heat to acquire Brunson, it would take a sign-and-trade agreement.”

With Kyle Lowry in the twilight of his career, the Heat may be looking to get younger at point guard, and Jalen Brunson would be a perfect way of injecting some youth into the situation. Losing Brunson to the Heat would be brutal as it’d be another example of Pat Riley getting back at the Knicks.

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