Dark Horse Knicks Rival Emerges in Jalen Brunson Sweepstakes: Report

Jalen Brunson

Getty Jalen Brunson reacts to a play against the San Antonio Spurs.

While the New York Knicks are expected to land Jalen Brunson this offseason as their point guard of the future, there are still some hurdles they’ll have to overcome.

The big one is out of the way and that was clearing the necessary cap space to make an offer to him. It’s now expected they’ll hand out a four-year deal that could run up to $110 million.

With that out of the way, the Knicks will now have to make sure their offer is accepted and it was expected the only team who was really in the picture for Brunson’s services along with them was the Dallas Mavericks.

However, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports the Miami Heat have emerged as a candidate for the point guard. They’re labeled as a dark horse, but the possibility is certainly there for the Heat to swoop in at the last minute and steal away the guard.

The Heat Emerge

While the Knicks are trying to fight for the playoffs next season based on the moves they make this summer, the Heat are looking for the final pieces for a championship run, and they might view Brunson as one of those pieces.

Kyle Lowry is getting older, and he was a near non-factor in the playoffs last season, but a lot of that came down to his health. However, getting younger might be in the Heat’s best interest, and Brunson would be able to provide that. Haynes reports Miami has secured a meeting with the Mavericks point guard, so they could be a real candidate for him.

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

There’s no guarantee the Heat can land him in free agency, especially since it’d require them to send assets back to the Mavs where the Knicks could just sign Brunson outright.

Then again, this is Pat Riley we’re talking about here, a long-time rival of the Knicks. After leading the Knicks to success throughout the ’90s as a coach, Riley left for South Beach and fans haven’t forgiven him since.

Should the Knicks Worry?

As of right now, there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason for the Knicks to be concerned about the Heat landing Brunson over them.

Haynes does report the Knicks are still the frontrunners in the Brunson sweepstakes, so unless that changes, things should still go according to plan.

“The Knicks are viewed as the frontrunners and the expectation is an offer of four years, in the vicinity of a whopping $110 million will be proposed, sources said,” Haynes wrote.

Free agency officially opens up a 6 p.m. on June 30, so teams will be able to get commitments from players, but they won’t be able to get them to sign a contract until July 6. It’ll be a long wait even if the Knicks can get a verbal commitment.

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