Jalen Brunson departed the Dallas Mavericks in free agency to join the New York Knicks as their starting point guard.
If Brunson wanted to take on a bigger role, going to the Knicks is definitely the way for him to do it. The point guard had a breakout postseason, including a 41-point explosion in Luka Doncic’s absence, so that might’ve boosted his value even higher.
While he hasn’t been named to an All-Star team yet in his young career, the Knicks are hoping he can blossom into one.
Brunson likely has those same hopes and he sent a message to Knicks fans after signing the new contract.
Brunson Sends a Message
Leaving a team you’ve spent years with isn’t an easy decision, and it’s even hard when it’s with a team that’s competing for a championship.
As of right now, the Knicks are more likely to be competing for a playoff spot instead of a championship, but Brunson will play a big part in that.
“Ready to start a new chapter New York!” he said. “Let’s go!”
The point guard position has long been an area of need for the team, so this is a big deal for the Knicks, but they’ll need Brunson to continue his playoffs performance into the regular season in New York.
After signing with the Knicks, Brunson also bid a farewell to Dallas.
“Dallas, I will love you forever,” he said.
In joining the Knicks, Brunson leaves behind one of the NBA’s best players in Luka Doncic to join a young core including RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin. Julius Randle was named to the All-NBA team two seasons ago, and if he’s able to recapture that form, the Knicks could be a playoff team once again.
On top of Brunson, the Knicks also made the big move of bringing back Mitchell Robinson on a $60 million contract. There are still moves left to be made, but the Knicks are looking better than they did a year ago.
The addition of Brunson is definitely the headliner of free agency so far for the Knicks, but there are other things to be excited about.
Signing Isaiah Hartenstein fills the backup center void left behind by Nerlens Noel after he was traded to the Pistons. Another big boost the team will get is the return of Derrick Rose.
The former MVP missed a huge chunk of the previous season due to injury, but he’s shown he can anchor the bench and run the offense, so the Knicks will be hoping he can do that when healthy again.
Between Brunson and a healthy Rose, the point guard spot is looking good for the Knicks and it’s hard to believe that there was time split between Kemba Walker and Alec Burks just a few months ago.
This doesn’t mean the Knicks are going to suddenly be good overnight, but it’s a good start. We’ll just have to wait and see what moves the Knicks make throughout the remainder of free agency.