Dallas Mavericks rumors: Jalen Brunson certain to sign with Knicks in free agency

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks entered the offseason confident they would be able to re-sign Jalen Brunson, despite him becoming an unrestricted free agent. The 6’1 guard was coming off a breakout fourth NBA season where he averaged over 21 points per game in the playoffs. He became an unquestioned starter and the Mavs number two option.

The two sides failed to reach extension on a four-year deal worth just over $55 million. Brunson was willing to sign the contract in the 2021 offseason, and he even approached the team in January, but the Mavs wanted to maximize their flexibility at the trade deadline.

The decision has blown up in the Mavericks face as Marc Stein reported that the team is all but certain he will sign with the Knicks after free agency opens on June 30. The momentum was trending in New York's direction, and now it appears JB has made up his mind.

Dallas Mavericks rumors: Jalen Brunson certain to sign with
Knicks in free agency

It appears New York has swooped in and convinced Brunson to take over as their lead ball-handler. The 6’1 guard has close ties with Knicks president Leon Rose, and his father is one of New York’s assistant coaches. The Knicks have been pursuing Brunson for years, and it looks like they will finally get the 25-year-old to the Big Apple.

The Mavericks are projected to be over the salary cap, so replacing Brunson’s production will not be easy. They have just the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum contracts to add in free agency, and Dallas needs another ball-handler with Brunson expected to sign with the Knicks. Can the Mavs find one on the cheap or can they acquire one via trade?

Losing Jalen Brunson is a massive blow to a team that just reached the Western Conference Finals. The Dallas Mavericks chased a hypothetical trade at the deadline and it burnt them. Now, the Mavs will have to replace JB’s production.

Re-signing Brunson was the Mavs top offseason priority, but they failed to get a deal done. How will they pivot? Stay tuned for all the latest rumors, news, and analysis at The Smoking Cuban.

Next. What should Mavs do to replace Jalen Brunson. dark