Case for Jalen Brunson choosing the Pistons over the Dallas Mavericks this offseason
Money will likely be the driving factor if Brunson leaves Dallas this summer. He signed a four-year $6.1 million deal as a second-round pick back in 2018. The Mavericks did not give him an option in the final year that would have made him a restricted free agent. Instead, JB hits the market unrestricted this summer and is free to sign with any team.
Luka Doncic’s max extension kicks in next season, which will put the Mavericks over the cap. How far over depends on re-signing Brunson, so expect the team to have a maximum price point. Will another team offer more? The Mavs are willing to give JB a deal in the $15-20 million per season range, but others could exceed that figure in hopes of luring him away.
Brunson would likely play a similar role in Detroit on a worse team. Yes, the Pistons have Cade Cunningham and will add another high draft pick to their core of Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey, and Isaiah Stewart this summer. Detroit could be on the rise, but do not expect to see them in the playoffs next season.
Dallas won 33 games in Luka Doncic’s rookie year before making a ten-win improvement to qualify for the postseason. The Pistons have just 23 victories with two games left in the regular season. The eighth seed in the Eastern Conference this season is going to have at least 42 wins, meaning the Pistons would need to make a 20-win improvement to get to the playoffs in 2023.