Dallas Mavericks roster breakdown: Jalen Brunson
The heir apparent to the generation of undersized, high IQ guards Carlisle had grown so fond of over the years, it was easy to see why the Mavericks drafted Brunson out of Villanova back in 2018. He’s the classic low-ceiling, high-floor, good locker room guy that coaches tend to love.
Even coming into the league, Brunson was fairly seasoned compared to your average draftee after winning two national titles in his three seasons with the Wildcats.
However, that sort of “no-frills, no surprises” mantra has given them the type of player the Mavs expected when they drafted Brunson. He is safe, capable of running an offense effectively, and mature enough to plug into any locker room without worry. However, is he the guy the front office should be dying to hand a second contract?
Brunson operates as sort of a secondary ball-handler to Luka and is effective enough, but can Mavs fans point to a single play that’s memorable in the Brunson era? Again, another gritty guy who is willing to do the dirty, less glamorous things that don’t show up in the stat sheet, the 24-year-old is nice to have in a locker room but is not a difference-maker.
The fact that he came into the league as an older rookie puts a cap on his ceiling. This isn’t to say Brunson is a bad player or that he can’t offer value. It’s just that in Brunson, what fans see is what they get, and the production is not something that is difficult to find elsewhere.