The Dallas Mavericks officially lost Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks on July 12. He signed a four-year deal worth $104 million with incentives. Brunson will join his father and godfather in New York to play for the team he rooted for as a child.
It was a stunning loss for the Mavericks. They drafted JB in the second round and helped him develop into a starter and the team’s second-leading scorer. The team had plenty of opportunities to lock him into a long-term deal for significantly less than he got from the Knicks, but the Mavs did not do it. New York was always interested, and they convinced him to come before Dallas could even make an offer.
It stings to lose your second-best player and even worse when there is nothing going back in return. The Mavericks had 12 days to work out a mutually beneficial sign-and-trade with New York, but it never happened as the Knicks signed Brunson using cap space on Monday. It was just another miss for Dallas in the now-closed JB saga.
Knicks officially sign Jalen Brunson: Dallas Mavericks lose him for nothing
Brunson is expected to be the Knicks' lead ball-handler and playmaker next season. He scored 21 points per game for the Mavericks in their run to the Western Conference Finals, and the 6’1 guard will be looking to take his game to the next level in New York.
The Mavs need a ball-handler and playmaker to replace Brunson. Their offense was most successful with two ball-handlers on the floor last season, but Dallas just has Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie on their roster. Head coach Jason Kidd said Dinwiddie will start in the backcourt, but the Mavericks need another playmaker to round out their trio.
Fans hoped the Dallas Mavericks would turn it into a sign-and-trade to at least extract a trade exception, but that is not the case. Jalen Brunson is officially a Knick, and the Mavs must find a way to replace his production if they want to make another deep playoff run in 2023. Will they? Stay tuned to find out.