The Dallas Mavericks made re-signing Jalen Brunson their top priority this offseason after the 6’1 guard had a breakout fourth NBA season. JB became the Mavericks' second-leading scorer, and he led the team to two wins in the postseason in the three games Luka Doncic missed with a calf injury. The 25-year-old is a leader in the Mavs locker room and a key piece of their team.
The Knicks have been pursuing Brunson since Leon Rose became president in 2020. He was Brunson’s former agent and is a close family friend. New York also hired Jalen’s father to be an assistant under head coach Tom Thibodeau this summer to further strengthen the bond. The Knicks are clearing cap space to make a massive offer to Brunson when free agency opens on June 30.
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer said on his podcast Please Don’t Aggregate This that Brunson is “more likely than not to become a member of the Knicks as opposed to the Dallas Mavericks”. Get the latest here.
Rumors: Jalen Brunson more likely to sign with Knicks than Dallas Mavericks in free agency
Fischer followed up by noting that is not a done deal, but that everyone that was saying he was staying in Dallas has flipped to saying they believe he is headed to New York. Fischer continued to say a sign-and-trade deal likely makes sense for both sides, and that is likely to be explored.
The Mavericks will not be able to replace Brunson if he signs with the Knicks. They are over the salary cap and will have just the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum contracts to hand out in free agency. Dallas is likely looking at the trade market for deals for another ball-handler, but they won’t come cheap.
The Dallas Mavericks still have the ability to offer the most money and an additional year. Can they up their offer enough to convince Jalen Brunson to stay in Texas? It is a situation to watch as free agency approaches on June 30.