Was Dallas Mavericks letting Jalen Brunson or Steve Nash walk in free agency worse?

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Steve Nash won 2 MVP awards after leaving Dallas Mavericks: What will Jalen Brunson do?

To his credit, Nash was a slightly better player before and just after he left Dallas. Both players entered the NBA at 22 years old, but Nash had just finished his eighth season when he left the Mavericks.

He was drafted by the Suns in 1996 and spent two seasons in Phoenix before being traded to Dallas on draft night in 1998. Nash was already a two-time All-Star before he left in free agency, and he won back-to-back MVP honors in his first two years after re-joining the Suns.

Brunson only played four seasons, and he is still looking for his first All-Star appearance, but it could be coming. The 26-year-old was close this season and is among the finalists for the NBA’s Most Improved Player. Nash did not make his first All-Star appearance until he was 27 years old before earning the honors in six of the next seven years.

Letting Steve Nash go gets the tally here because he was already an All-Star and proven co-star next to Dirk Nowitzki. Brunson had a breakout fourth season, but there were more questions about his ceiling, especially playing next to Luka Doncic. JB had not stiffened an All-Star appearance before going to New York.