Jalen Brunson departed the Dallas Mavericks and joined the New York Knicks in the offseason, a move that would give him a far bigger role.
After being in the shadow of Luka Doncic, Brunson is ready to show the league what he’s capable of doing as the star of the offense.
Joining the Knicks is a way to make that happen, and he’ll be joining Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, two players who operate best with the ball in their hands.
Brunson was asked about playing alongside Randle in particular on an episode of “Good Word With Goodwill,” a podcast hosted by Yahoo Sports reporter Vincent Goodwill.
Brunson is Ready
It can be difficult to join a team that already runs an offense a certain way, but it seems like Brunson is more than up to the task, and he had nothing be praise for Randle.
“Julius is very capable of doing things on the ball,” he told Goodwill. “As long as we’re winning games. We’ve got to try and find ways to win games. I think we have a very good opportunity to do so.”
Obviously, there’s not much else he could’ve said here because he’s talking about his new teammate, but it’s definitely the right thing to say.
Randle isn’t that far removed from being named an All-Star and a member of the All-NBA team, and perhaps Brunson could be the key to him realizing that potential.
If playing with Randle was going to be an issue, Brunson sure didn’t make it seem so.
“It’s going be different for me, it’s going to be different for a lot of people,” he continued. “But I’ve never backed down from a challenge ever and I don’t plan on doing so here.”
The reality is that the Knicks have had a revolving door at point guard for years now, and Brunson will hopefully be the player who anchors the position for at least the next four years. Fans will be rooting for him, and so far he has said all the right things about playing with the team.
Is Randle Staying?
Something that might not even be a guarantee is Julius Randle remaining a Knick. The team is still trying to make a trade for Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, and he’d slot in perfectly next to Brunson in the back court.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, there is a real possibility this could happen, and that would free the Knicks from the massive four-year, $117 million extension that begins this season for Randle.
Trading him for the sake of trading him likely isn’t on the cards considering Randle is still a 20/10/5 player, so the right offer would have to come around. All things considered, the contract isn’t exactly an albatross, but it might be a bit more than the team would want to pay for potentially the third or fourth best player on the roster in the event Mitchell is secured.