Kyle Kuzma Sends Strong Message on Jalen Brunson After Ugly Knicks Win

Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks.

Getty Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks.

It’s been an up-and-down season for the New York Knicks, who have been one of the streakier teams in the NBA this year. As things stand, the Knicks are 24-19 on the season, which is good for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The addition of Jalen Brunson has proven to be one of the better signings of the offseason. He’s been able to fill the team’s hole at the point guard position and is putting up some remarkable numbers. After New York’s win over the Washington Wizards, Kyle Kuzma called him an All-Star.

“Jalen Brunson. I mean, he just took over the game,” Kuzma said via New York Basketball. “He’s an All-Star this year. He’s been playing phenomenal basketball…You can just tell from the team last year to this year, they have more poise and patience, and they look for him. And he delivered tonight.”

New York was up by as many as 15 points over the Wizards, but Washington managed to come all the way back and make it a closely-contested game by the end of the fourth quarter. For the Knicks, it was Brunson who led the way, leading the team in scoring.

Brunson played more minutes than anyone else in the game (40:23) and was one of two players to log over 40 minutes (Kyle Kuzma, 40:05). He ended the night with a team-high 34 points in addition to eight rebounds and eight assists. The point guard shot 12-of-24 shooting from the floor and 3-of-6 shooting from behind the three-point line.

Meanwhile, Kuzma led the Wizards in scoring, putting up a game-high 40 points. He also had seven rebounds and seven assists and shot 14-of-27 from the floor and 4-of-10 from distance. But despite his amazing night, Kuzma gave all the props to Brunson, admitting that he simply took over.

Knicks Could Chase Star on Trade Market

While Brunson has been an amazing fit for the Knicks this year, it still feels as though they are a piece or two away from truly competing for a championship. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, they should be looking to add another star at the trade deadline.

“Few teams have the kind of draft capital the Knicks possess, and even the strong play of Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson has New York just seventh in the East.

“Adding a premier scorer like Beal or LaVine is at least worth checking the price on for the Knicks, taking this offense to an elite level.

“If the asking price is too high, Anunoby may actually be the better fit overall. Plugging the defensive juggernaut into a lineup that features Brunson, RJ Barrett, Randle and Mitchell Robinson would give this core plenty of size, scoring and now an elite defender on the perimeter.

“Don’t be shy, New York. Make some calls,” Swartz wrote.

Knicks Targeting Gary Trent Jr. in Trade

In addition, the Knicks could potentially look to add extra guard help. Brett Siegel of FanNation’s Fastbreak noted that the Knicks are looking to target Toronto Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. in a deal.

“Both the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns are two teams that have a level of internal interest in Trent ahead of the deadline, sources close to both organizations tell Fastbreak on FanNation,” Siegel wrote. “However, the asking price Toronto for Trent has not been revealed, and rival executives believe that the Raptors will be aiming to add immediate draft capital given their recent struggles this season.”

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