The Dallas Mavericks made re-signing Jalen Brunson their top priority entering the offseason, but it was already too late. They had a chance to offer him an extension at the start of last season, but the front office never did. Brunson's fourth-year breakout made the maximum four-year deal worth $55.6 million not enough, and the Knicks were always going to make a strong offer in free agency.
Ultimately, Brunson signed to play in New York on a four-year deal worth $104 million, and the Mavericks front office has nobody to blame but themselves. Dallas always wanted to chase a bigger fish. They could have signed the 6’1 guard to one of the best value contracts in the league last summer, but their lack of action opened the door for him to leave and the Mavs got nothing in return.
The Knicks paid handsomely to sign Brunson, but will the Mavs regret losing the 6’1 guard? Should they have outbid New York? Does JB need to keep improving with the Knicks to make Dallas regret letting him walk? Here is a closer look at those questions.
Should the Dallas Mavericks have outbid the Knicks for Jalen Brunson in free agency?
That is a matter of evaluation. The Mavs clearly wanted to make JB prove he was worth the four-year $55.6 million extension they were able to offer him last season. Brunson outplayed that contract, but Dallas was not offering north of $25 million to keep him.
Will they regret not offering the 6’1 guard more money? Two things could force that to happen. One, the Dallas Mavericks' playmaking hole left by Brunson being so massive that they struggle to make the playoffs in 2023. They have Luka Doncic, so that seems unlikely. The second is JB reaching another level in New York, but what exactly does he have to do?