Why the Dallas Mavericks should extend Jalen Brunson this offseason
Brunson has played three seasons in the NBA. His minutes, points, rebounds, assists, and 3-point percentage have improved every year. This season, he shot over 40 percent from long range while finishing fourth in Sixth Man of the Year voting. The 24-year-old should continue to improve too.
Keeping homegrown talent is a key for any championship contender. Yes, the Suns added Chris Paul, but they developed Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and others. The Warriors dynasty featured three homegrown talents in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Developing talent is an important part of roster building.
The Mavericks are unlikely to have cap space in the 2022 offseason. They will have Brunson’s bird rights, so they can re-sign him either way. Getting the deal done now locks him in as part of their core. Luka Doncic is expected to sign a rookie max extension this summer. Dallas will also be looking to add another key piece in free agency on a multi-year deal. That should push the Mavericks near the cap.
If the Mavs lose Brunson in free agency in 2022, they are unlikely to be able to sign a replacement. Dallas will not have the cap space. They will be relying on their mid-level and bi-annual exceptions to add talent to the roster next summer. Ensuring Jalen Brunson is in Dallas gives the Mavericks another talented piece as they attempt to build a title contender.
Next: Case against a Brunson extension