Thing Dallas Mavericks need around Luka Doncic to be title contenders: 2. Jalen Brunson
The Mavs need to re-sign Jalen Brunson this summer to a long-term deal. Yes, JB is not the traditional second-best player on a championship team. He may not be the second-best player on the team if and when the Mavericks win the championship, but Brunson is a skilled 25-year-old point guard that keeps improving.
JB is an unrestricted free agent, so he holds all the cards. The Mavs should not be looking at sign-and-trade options because the base year compensation rule makes it difficult to match salaries in a trade. Basically, if Brunson signs for $20 million per season, the Mavericks would only be able to take back $10 million in a sign-and-trade because they are over the salary cap.
The quickest path to championship contention is for Dallas to re-sign Jalen Brunson. The 25-year-old will have value in the trade market because he will agree to a less than max deal, and he just keeps getting better. JB is a winning player that makes his team better. Those players almost always have a market.
Jalen Brunson made himself a lot of money during the postseason, and all signs point to him returning to Dallas, but there will be some nerves until the deal gets done.