Why Dallas Mavericks need to extend Jalen Brunson: 3. Continued improvement
Brunson helped Villanova win two NCAA championships in his three college seasons, but the undersized guard slipped into the second round in the 2018 NBA Draft. He quickly proved he was ready for a rotation role and had a 52.3 effective field goal percentage as a rookie. JB has continued to add to his game every year and watched his numbers climb.
Last season, Brunson averaged 12.6 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.4 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game, while shooting 52.3 percent from the field, 40.5 percent on his threes, and 79.5 percent from the free-throw line. His effective field goal percentage rose to 58.8, which ranked 28th in the NBA.
Letting a player walk in free agency that keeps getting better is always a mistake. Even if the Mavericks give Brunson the maximum allowed of four years and $55 million, the 25-year-old will be making a similar salary to Sixth Man of the Year candidates Derrick Rose and Jordan Clarkson. Dallas is unlikely to have to get him the max as the 25-year-old wants to stay in Dallas.
Jalen Bruson’s advanced metrics continue to climb too. He set new career-highs in win shares, win shares per 48 minutes, box score plus-minus, and value over replacement player (VORP) last season. The Dallas Mavericks keep him long-term because Brunson is already a solid role player and he keeps improving.