Will lead playmaker role lead Jalen Brunson to leave Mavericks in free agency?

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are planning to re-sign unrestricted free agent Jalen Brunson this summer. Owner Mark Cuban has been steadfast about the team’s ability to get a deal done, but it will push the Mavs deep into the luxury tax.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer dropped his latest notes on May 31 where he reports the sense around the league is that JB will re-sign with the Mavericks. Fischer mentions the recent extension reached by John Collins of five years for $125 million as a potential benchmark for his new deal while noting the Knicks' continued interest and their one advantage in the market over the Mavericks and Brunson’s other potential suitors.

New York is willing to make JB their lead ball-handler and playmaker. He will not have that in Dallas playing next to Luka Doncic. His other rumored destinations of Detroit and Indiana both have young lead playmakers on their roster. Will the top ball-handler role be enough to sway Brunson into choosing the Knicks this summer?

Will desire to be a lead playmaker force Jalen Brunson to leave the Mavericks?

Knicks need a point guard, but they also have a longstanding relationship with Jalen and his father, Rick. New York would need to clear cap space to make a run at JB in free agency, which will be difficult to do before free agency begins on July 1. Assuming they offer Brunson a four-year deal worth $100 million, would being the lead ball-handler be enough to convince him to leave Dallas?

JB holds all the cards as an unrestricted free agent, but it appears he wants to return to the Mavericks. The 25-year-old had each of the players from this year’s roster sign one of his jerseys on exit interview day to remember this squad. The Dallas Mavericks made a run to the Western Conference Finals this year, and Brunson loves to win.

Expect him to be back in Dallas playing next to Luka Doncic. The New York Knicks will likely finish second in the race to sign Jalen Brunson, but it won’t be enough to edge his current situation with the Mavericks. Fans can read more about why Brunson is unlikely to choose New York over Dallas here, and stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest in his free agency.

Next. 5 glaring holes in Mavs roster heading into offseason. dark