The Dallas Mavericks are on the doorstep of knocking the Utah Jazz out of the playoffs behind an incredible series from Jalen Brunson. The 6’1 guard led his team to two victories without superstar Luka Doncic, and he has proven his fourth-year breakout translates to the postseason.
The Mavericks have made re-signing Brunson their top priority this summer, but he has earned a hefty contract. Signing him pushes Dallas deep into the luxury tax as Luka Doncic’s extension kicks in next season. Dallas plans to keep him, but what if JB has other ideas?
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported the Mavs do not intend to explore sign-and-trade scenarios, but their hand could be forced. Here is a look at how Dallas would have no choice except to trade Brunson to a new team.
How could the Dallas Mavericks be forced to sign-and-trade Jalen Brunson?
The Mavs have made multiple blunders since drafting Brunson in the second round in 2018. They signed him to a rookie contract that did not include a team option in the final year, which makes JB an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Dallas also failed to offer Brunson an extension before this year’s trade deadline, and those mistakes cost the team millions and maybe the ever-improving guard too.
JB holds the power in free agency. If Brunson chooses to sign with another team, the Mavs have to attempt to work out a sign-and-trade. The organization has no way of replacing his production, so getting anything back in a trade is better than the nothing they will receive if he walks in free agency.
The sign-and-trade route allows Jalen Brunson to play in his preferred destination and ensures the Dallas Mavericks get something in return for him. Organization sources can say they have no plans on entertaining deals, but at some point, that could be their only logical option.
The two avenues would be Brunson wanting to sign elsewhere and the Mavs deciding his contract demands are too much. If some team is willing to offer him a max deal, Dallas is not matching nor should they. The Mavericks would be wise to collect a few assets via a sign-and-trade and move on.
Expect the Dallas Mavericks to re-sign Jalen Brunson after he hits free agency. The two sides are building something special together, and the Mavs will come to the table with an offer that benefits both parties. If things do not work out in his contract negotiations, the organization will have no choice but to sign-and-trade JB elsewhere. Stay tuned to see how it plays out.