On July 12, 2022, the Dallas Mavericks lost Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency. This ended the former 33rd overall pick's time in Dallas, but they combatted the by making a blockbuster trade a week before the 2023 trade deadline for star guard Kyrie Irving.
Many questions have arisen among Mavs fans regarding Brunson's departure. Was it simply that Dallas didn't want to pay Brunson his four-year, $104 million contract? Was Brunson's decision to join the Knicks predetermined due to his father's influence? Did Brunson want to lead his own team without being behind Luka Doncic's shadow? These questions have yet to be answered, but many fans have their assumptions.
The great Mavericks point guard debate: Jalen Brunson vs. Kyrie Irving
Heading into the 2022-23 NBA season, a huge question surrounding the Mavericks was the absence of a second star to pair next to Doncic. Getting Irving in the fashion that the Mavs did was not only surprising but for the Mavericks, they got a legit star for a bargain price who could complement Doncic well for many seasons.
Losing Brunson was not only a gut shot for a team that was just three wins away from their first NBA finals appearance since 2011 but also a colossal failure in terms of team building, as Brunson was presumably going to be Doncic's partner in crime for many years to come.
With this in mind, a great debate amongst Mavericks fans has been "Who's better between Jalen Brunson and Kyrie Irving?" This question will be answered throughout this article, along with who is better for Doncic's career and who could be better for the Mavericks.