Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban repeated the same mistake in losing Jalen Brunson for nothing
Letting Brunson walk in free agency was a massive blunder by the entire franchise, and somehow Dallas managed to make it worse. It was the second time Cuban made this error, and for the second time, it blew up directly in his face.
After Dirk Nowitzki’s third straight All-Star appearance in 2004, the Mavericks let point guard Steve Nash walk in free agency. The circumstances were slightly different, but the billionaire decided against paying an undersized guard. It created one of the biggest what-ifs in NBA history as Nash went on to be a two-time MVP in Phoenix and Dirk was an all-time great. How would the Mavericks have fared with two Hall of Famers leading their charge for the next decade?
Adding to the parallels, Doncic had just made his third All-Star team when Brunson left, and the 6’2 guard immediately took his game to another level in New York.
The biggest difference was Dallas got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs in 2004, and they made the conference finals in 2022. Clearly, the Doncic and Brunson pairing worked, and Cuban still let him walk in free agency. The Mavs also traded for a replacement in 2004 by adding Jason Terry. Dallas did not fill the Brunson hole, and the result was a massive disappointment.
The primary reason Jalen Brunson is no longer a Maverick has been one of the franchise's biggest issues since Mark Cuban bought the team in 2000.