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Will Jalen Brunson choose Knicks over Mavericks in free agency to join his father?

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks need to bring back Jalen Brunson. The 25-year-old guard is an unrestricted free agent after the two sides failed to reach an extension, and his price only rose after his standout playoff performance.

Owner Mark Cuban and the Mavs are confident they will re-sign Brunson, but it will push the team deep into the luxury tax. Dallas is projected to be over the line before signing JB, so adding another $20-plus million will cost Cuban and the Mavericks more than $80 million.

The New York Knicks have not been shy about their interest in Brunson, and they may have improved their chances of signing him on June 2 as they agreed to hire his father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach under Tom Thibodeau. Will that be enough to get Jalen to leave Dallas for New York?

Will Jalen Brunson choose Knicks over Mavericks in free agency to join his father?

Rick Brunson left the head coaching position at Camden High School in New Jersey after three seasons to reunite with Thibs in New York. He was part of his staff in both Chicago and Minnesota. Father Brunson played nine years in the NBA and has spent seven as an assistant coach since 2007. Next season will be his sixth as an assistant under Thibodeau.

Brunson also has a longstanding relationship with Knicks president Leon Rose, who was his agent during his playing days. It should be no surprise that Rick Brunson was hired by the Knicks. Honestly, it was more shocking Brunson was not part of Thibodeau’s staff when he was hired in 2020, but the duo is back working together now.

The Knicks have a lot of work to do if they plan on signing Jalen Brunson this summer. They currently do not have the cap space to sign him outright, and ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported that Dallas has no plans of engaging in a sign-and-trade. It will be difficult for New York to clear enough room to sign JB, but they will attempt to make it work if they can secure his signature this summer.

Does hiring Brunson’s dad as an assistant coach improve the Knicks' chances of signing him? Slightly, but the interest is mutual in Jalen returning to Dallas. The Mavericks have a tight-knit team, and it seems like Dallas will be able to re-sign the 6’1 guard this offseason.

Jalen Brunson’s free agent is something every Dallas Mavericks supporter will be watching closely in the weeks ahead, and fans can stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest.

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