The Dallas Mavericks wanted to re-sign Jalen Brunson this offseason, but the 6’1 guard decided to join the New York Knicks as an unrestricted free agent. JB blossomed from second-round pick to the Mavs' second-leading scorer, and he helped them reach the conference finals, but there were just too many things pulling him to the Big Apple.
Brunson’s father is an assistant coach with the Knicks, and his godfather, Leon Rose, is the team’s president. They also offered him the chance to be a lead ball-handler and improved his odds of making the All-Star team. As soon as the Knicks started clearing cap space, it became clear that Jalen was headed to join his father and close family friend in New York.
Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban shared his thoughts on Brunson’s departure with Steve Popper of Newsday. Here is a look at Cuban’s comments, and the latest on how Dallas is planning to fill JB’s role next season.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on Jalen Brunson’s departure
The Mavs made re-signing Brunson their top offseason priority, but they never got the chance. Here is what Cuban had to say about his departure.
"It really wasn’t about the amount of money. We really didn’t get a chance to make an offer. It was Jalen’s choice, and I understand it. He knew those guys his entire life. He grew up there. It makes perfect sense."
Cuban noted in the interview from the Las Vegas Summer League that there are zero hard feelings toward Brunson.
JB earned the right to decide in free agency, and he felt like his best opportunity was in New York playing for the Knicks. He will be looking to take another step next season, but the floor spacing will not be the same in the Big Apple. Expect Brunson to keep getting buckets, and fans should be watching closely.
Head coach Jason Kidd did an interview with ESPN from Vegas on July 8 where he stated that Spencer Dinwiddie will take Brunson’s role in the starting five. The Dallas Mavericks desperately need another ball-handler, but that addition will have to come via trade. Can Nico Harrison and the front office find that move? Stay tuned.