It might not have been pretty, but the New York Knicks were able to land Jalen Brunson in free agency.
In the days leading up to the signing, New York was able to shed salary in various trades that send Kemba Walker, Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks to the Detroit Pistons.
Brunson ended up being one of the first signings of the offseason, and it was reported to be happening before free agency officially began. This led to the Knicks being investigated for tampering, an investigation that is still ongoing.
In a press conference on September 26, Brunson reveals he hasn’t been contacted in the investigation, but he did have some thoughts to share about how his free agency played out.
Brunson Sounds Off on Free Agency
Brunson was always expected to end up in a Knicks uniform when all was said and done, and while it happened, the road was rockier than it really had to be.
According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, Brunson said he wasn’t happy with how it all went.
“Free agency was kind of awful how public it got,” he said. “Not gonna lie to you.”
None of this is really Brunson’s fault, but more so the fact that his father is now a coach within the Knicks organization. As expected, this proved to be something that Brunson couldn’t miss out on.
“This is an opportunity you only see in the movies,” he said.
Brunson will have a big void to fill this season as he takes the reign at point guard, a position that has long be vacant in New York. There have been good players anchoring the spot in the past, Kemba Walker coming to mind as a recent example, but he had a rough year with the Knicks where he ended up being banished from the rotation entirely.
Brunson will hopefully right the ship and allow the team to have some stability at the position.
Brunson is Not a Savior
It should go without saying, but the signing of Brunson won’t be enough to simply save the Knicks from obscurity.
With that said, Brunson will make things easier for the Knicks as he brings playmaking ability to the point guard position that hasn’t been there in years.
Perhaps most importantly, he’ll be able to take the ball out of the hands of RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, freeing them up for better looks with him getting them the ball. In years prior, Randle and Barrett made their plays with them running the show, but that might’ve come out of not having any other options.
Randle is still one of the best playmaking big men out there, so he’ll likely have the ball in his hands a fair amount, but lightening the load could prove to be huge for him.
Watching how the team runs plays to start the season will be very important to keep an eye on, so we’ll just have to wait and see how everything plays out. So far, everybody appears to be saying and doing the right things.