Heading into the offseason, the New York Knicks’ free-agency board had one name atop the list: Jalen Brunson. The Dallas Mavericks point guard just wrapped up an extremely productive postseason run and is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer.
The Knicks have been searching for a point guard for years, and at just 25 years old, Brunson is a great candidate to take the job. However, the Mavericks seem intent on keeping him around. But according to recent reports, they may not be willing to meet his asking price.
According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Brunson’s initial asking price could be a bit too expensive for Dallas. In turn, they may be forced to explore sign-and-trade options, and the Knicks would be at the top of that list.
“While New York won’t have the cap room, multiple sources believe Dallas may blink at Brunson’s asking price, compelled to sign and trade him to the Knicks,” Pincus reported.
Pincus also noted that Dallas’ potential hesitance isn’t the only thing that could help draw Brunson in this summer.
Knicks Coaching Hire Could Play Factor
As reported by Ian Begley of SNY, the Knicks just recently hired Rick Brunson as an assistant coach. He’s Jalen Brunson’s father, and although he had been in consideration for the job before, Pincus believes that his hiring is no coincidence.
“The Knicks looking to hire Rick Brunson, per Ian Begley of SNY, isn’t a coincidence. His son, Dallas Mavericks free-agent Jalen Brunson, may be next,” Pincus wrote.
Rick Brunson spent time as an assistant coach under Tom Thibodeau with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves. Reports made it clear that New York did not make this move in an attempt to lure Jalen Brunson. Thibodeau has wanted Brunson on his staff for a while, but they were finally able to make it happen.
Nonetheless, the timing seems too good to be true. But if they do want to bring the Mavericks point guard to New York, they’ll have to find a way to get a sign-and-trade deal done.
Potential Brunson-to-Knicks Trade
Assuming that Jalen Brunson gets paid around $20 million (which is nothing more than a rough estimate), then the Knicks would likely have two options as far as sign-and-trades go.
The first of those two options would involve Evan Fournier. If Dallas showed interest in the French wing, then that would be an easy deal for both sides to make. However, with how long his contract is, they may wish to go a different route.
The other idea would be for the Mavericks to take on two smaller contracts. They would have to trade for two of Alec Burks, Kemba Walker, Nerlens Noel, or Taj Gibson. New York could offer some younger players in the deal, too, but they’d much rather keep those players in the Big Apple.
Trading for Brunson is no easy feat, but with the Mavericks supposedly uncertain about handing him the contract that he wants, New York could have the perfect opportunity to sneak in and steal him away.