With the Knicks opening up the vault for him and the Mavericks having Luka Doncic running the show, the decision was easy for Brunson and he’s now in the Big Apple.
In doing so, he’ll be coached by his father Rick, who the Knicks have on as an assistant coach. More importantly, he’ll be filling the long-vacant point guard void and hopefully anchoring the position for years to come.
His presence will make things easier for many players on the roster, notably Julius Randle who likes to have the ball in his hands a lot.
A player like Brunson running the show will open up more opportunities for Randle and the rest of the roster, and the 6-foot-8 forward explained as much during the Knicks media day.
Randle Details How Brunson Helps Him
Randle fell off from his All-Star form last season and found himself more in line with his career norms, but maybe Brunson will be the key to him becoming an All-Star again.
While there are no guarantees, Randle does make it sound like he’ll play a big role.
“I think it’ll be easier for me,” he said at the 3:25 mark. “When you have to create a lot with the ball in your hands, it can be tough, because the defense has all eyes on you at all times. So for me, being able to get some things off the ball, whether it’s running the floor, pick and roll, cuts, offensive rebounds, stuff like that, I just think it’ll make the game easier for myself and I’ll be able to help my teammates more.”
Brunson will hopefully have that effect for the whole team and not just Randle. Somebody else who plays with the ball in their hands a lot is RJ Barrett, but adding a true point guard to the mix will make things easier on that end as well.
It’s no secret that last season was a rough one for Randle, and he even got into it with fans on one or two occasions.
His most notable run-in came when he gave the Madison Square Garden crowd the “thumbs down” gesture while running back up the court. Things sound like they’ll be different for him this season, and a lot of that comes down to winning games.
“When it’s good, it’s easy to be a leader,” Randle said. “When things aren’t as good and you’re going through adversity, I think it’s even more important. So, I learned a lot.”
The team is saying all the right things this offseason, but it’ll be a different story once they’re all on the court. There could be some issues early on as everybody gets used to each other, but once that’s all ironed out the Knicks could make some noise. On paper, it’s a very deep team that can compete with anybody on any given night, but the same could’ve been said of last year’s squad too.